Latest News

A selection of language-related news. Does not claim to be comprehensive or represent the views of SCILT.


Scotland

SQA - Markers for 2022 exams

7 October 2021 (SQA)

Recruitment for new markers who would like to be considered for a marking team for 2022 is now underway.

A Marker marks candidates’ work in line with detailed marking instructions and in accordance with SQA policy and procedures. The prime role is to ensure consistent application of national standards when marking candidate submission(s).

Opportunities are available across all subjects and levels, and full training will be provided.

Visit the SQA website for more information and apply by 19 December 2021.

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Beairteas - Gaelic sessions for secondary pupils

7 October 2021 (e-Sgoil / Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups.

In partnership with e-Sgoil, three sessions are planned during October and November 2021 giving S1-S6 pupils the opportunity to listen to some of our best known Gaelic personalities talk about their lives and interests. Pupils will also have an opportunity to join in the conversation and ask questions which will help to develop their own Gaelic. 

Visit the Fèisean nan Gàidheal website for more information and to register for the sessions.

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Words for the World competition

5 October 2021 (SCILT)

‘We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world.’ (Malala Yousafzai)

Are you looking for a way to engage your language learners to think about global issues ahead of the COP26 summit in November? Inspired by Malala’s words, our Words for the World competition could be just what you need! SCILT is challenging learners to use their words and their languages to show how the world could be a better place.

More information about the competition is available on our Words for the World webpage. The entry deadline is 25 October 2021. If you'd like to upload submissions to the Words for the World MS Team, please contact us and provide your Glow email address. Please note, the competition is only open to schools in Scotland.

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'Some people find it very unusual that I speak Gaelic'

4 October 2021 (BBC)

Gaelic speakers of African and Caribbean descent have shared their experiences of the language in a new BBC Alba documentary.

Glaswegian student and musician Cass Ezeji says some people she meets think it is unusual she is fluent in Gaelic and also has African heritage. Her paternal grandfather is Nigerian.

Growing up, Cass went to the Glasgow Gaelic School, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, which teaches at both primary and secondary school levels.

Cass' parents, who do not speak Gaelic, chose the school because they thought she would get a good education there.

But Cass says she felt "a little lost" in immersive Gaelic-medium education, and among peers whose families were from the Highlands and Islands - the Western Isles are Gaelic's "heartland".

She says she argued with her mum about having to go to the school, and even felt angry about it.

The 27-year-old says: "The impression I had when I left school was that I didn't feel part of the Gaelic world.

"I didn't see myself represented in the culture so there was something of a disconnect."

But she says she has since gained an appreciation of her education and describes herself as an Afro-Gael.

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Espacios Increíbles 2021-22 - Register your interest now!

1 October 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce Espacios Increíbles is back for its 3rd year and it is bigger and better than before! We are looking for lots of budding architects and designers from S2 and S3 to take part in our Spanish competition to create an ‘Amazing Space.’

This competition combines aspects of design with Spanish language skills as they present their Espacio Increíble to a panel of judges and a live audience. Espacios Increíbles is a great way of introducing your pupils to different career pathways open to them when they study a language and encouraging uptake of Spanish in the Senior Phase.

To find out more visit our Espacios Increíbles webpage and register your school’s interest, by Monday 8 November.

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MTOT 2021-22 - registration deadline approaching!

30 September 2021 (SCILT)

Our multilingual poetry competition offers schools and learners the opportunity to use their language skills creatively, by producing an original poem, song or rap in a language they speak at home (Mother Tongue) or are learning at school (Other Tongue). With a focus on the spoken word, entries are invited in video or audio format.

Teachers, help us find the next generation of multilingual poets! The deadline to register your school is 7 October 2021 (National Poetry Day), and all entries should be submitted by 3 December 2021. 

Visit our MTOT webpage for full details and to sign-up.

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Conversation course for secondary German teachers

28 September 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you a secondary school teacher of German teaching at a school in Scotland? Would you like to practice your conversational skills and keep yourself up-to-date with current affairs in German speaking countries?  

This conversation course will be right for you. We will be discussing a wide range of topics based on current newspaper articles, radio programmes and clips from German television. You will be taking away up-to-date materials and, hopefully, inspiration and lots of good ideas for your classroom.

The free online course will be held over Zoom between October 2021 and February 2022.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more details and to register by 4 October 2021.

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Scots Language Awards: Iona Fyfe among winners announced in Dundee ceremony

26 September 2021 (The National)

Scottish celebrities, artists, and speakers gathered in Dundee for the Scots Language Awards on Saturday.

The audience attended Broughty Ferry’s Gardyne Theatre for the first time since before lockdown.

They were treated to interviews with the winners of 13 awards, and writer, broadcaster and National columnist Alistair Heather hosted the evening.

Poet and social media star Len Pennie introduced live performances from Victoria McNulty, Anna Stewart, Cameron Nixon, Alison Miller, and Ellie Beaton. Public voting on the nominees was open from September 6 to 19 with a record number of votes cast.

The awards recognise the heroic efforts and work of the people and organisations who all champion Scots’ unique culture, music and words.

Cabinet Secretary for Scotland’s Languages Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “These awards demonstrate that Scots is a vital part of this country’s cultural identity, and it is crucial we encourage and nurture the creativity of those who speak the language.”

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Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival: 1st-10th October in person and 14th-17th October online

24 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The 8th edition of ESFF is taking place 1st-10th October in person and 14th-17th October online.

We want to shine a light on the best Spanish language cinema and TV and we are thrilled to be able to bring everyone back together, in the cinema. Our aim is to show a broad range of all different genres of films and so the festival will feature a selection of regional productions including: Ane (David Pérez Sañudo), representing Basque cinema, and Chavalas (Carol Rodriguez Colás) will be providing a glimpse in Catalan cinema. Interspersed with these will be the new TV series Maricón Perdido (Bob Pop) and the highly acclaimed Mientras dure la guerra (Alejandro Amenábar). 

To immerse yourself even more in the programme, make sure to check out the Q&As and panel discussions taking place throughout the festival. We are privileged to be joined by a number of leading academics including: Professor Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles (University of Exeter) who will present the audio-visual project, Cartas Vivas, in which women's voices from the 20th century are brought to life, embodied by leading actresses from the Spanish-speaking world.

We are also proud to commemorate the centenary of Luis García Berlanga with a screening of El Verdugo and A conversation with Spain. This will be followed by a round table discussion to highlight the importance of Berlanga, both in cinema and the cultural legacy he has left us.

School programme of the ESFF includes the film “Klaus” (Primary) and “Los Lobos” (Secondary).

For more information and to book tickets visit the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival website.

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Sign language could be taught to Glasgow's councillors

22 September 2021 (Glasgow Times)

British Sign Language (BSL) classes should be available to members of Glasgow City Council according to councillors who are campaigning to support those with hearing impairments.

The importance of sign language has been in the spotlight over the past year, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon having a BSL interpreter for all her briefings during the Covid pandemic.

As it stands there are just 50 BSL interpreters for the whole of Scotland, and while the council is committed to providing training for workers in key sectors, it was not clear if councillors could be provided with help learning to sign.

Earlier this week members of the general purposes committee asked if councillors and council staff could have the opportunity to attend a BSL class to help them communicate more effectively with their constituents. 

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Scottish Gaelic Awards - nominations open!

21 September 2021 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

The Scottish Gaelic Awards reward all aspects of the Gaelic language and culture across the length and breadth of the country.

The Daily Record, alongside headline sponsor Bòrd na Gàidhlig are proud to host the most prestigious night of the year within the Gaelic community calendar. Celebrating Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage. The awards will take place on 16 November 2021 and nominations are now open!

Visit the website for information about the award categories and to submit your nomination.

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Maths Week Scotland 2021 - Maths wi nae Borders

21 September 2021 (Maths Week Scotland)

Maths Week Scotland takes place 27 September - 3 October 2021! 

Every day during Maths Week Scotland a new puzzle is set from the Scottish Mathematical Council. Inspired by the annual Mathématiques sans Frontières contest, the Maths wi nae Borders mini-competition contains a language element and is for any class to complete together.

Visit the Maths Week Scotland website for full details and to download a competition pack (available from 27 September 2021).

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SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages coursework

21 September 2021 (SQA)

The SQA has published Advanced Higher Modern Languages Portfolio Answer Booklets. These can be found under the Coursework section of the SQA's AH Modern Languages webpage.

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On-line videos give virtual taste of the islands' Gaelic culture

20 September 2021 (Stornoway Gazette)

A new collection of short videos that encourages visitors to experience and explore the Gaelic culture of the Outer Hebrides is now available online.

The six videos – produced for Outer Hebrides Tourism with the support of VisitScotland, CaMac and Bord na Gàidhlig – were developed in collaboration with local communities and community groups, and take viewers on a virtual journey through the islands, from the land raiders of Vatersay to the crofters of Ness.

The Gazette’s sister paper, The Scotsman, will be running features on Gaelic culture that link to the themes in the videos in their online edition this month.In each video, one or more islanders are interviewed in Gaelic, about a different aspect of island culture and their own personal connection with the language. Those with little or no Gaelic can follow the English subtitles.

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Evening language courses at Dundee

17 September 2021 (University of Dundee)

Registration for the following year-long courses at the University of Dundee is now open until 27 September 2021:

  • French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, and British Sign Language (BSL).

For more information, please visit: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/languages/courses/forall/

To register please go to: https://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/short-courses/languages-for-all

If you have any queries, please contact: Veronique Malcolm : v.malcolm@dundee.ac.uk

FilmG competition 2021

16 September 2021 (FilmG)

FilmG is MG ALBA’s Gaelic short film competition which is delivered by Cànan Graphics Studio, the multi-media company based on the Isle of Skye. FilmG was launched in 2008 in order to develop new talent for the Gaelic channel BBC ALBA which was launched in the same year. Over this time it has received more than 700 short films and seen many young people begin their careers in Gaelic television broadcasting.

This year's FilmG is now open for entries. In the Youth category the competition is open to high school classes, independent filmmakers, and primary schools. High school Gaelic classes across Scotland can also take up the offer of 2 day filmmaking workshops to support entrants. 

Visit the FilmG website for more information and get entries in by 13 December 2021.

Read more...

Turkish and Turkish culture courses starting soon

16 September 2021 (Turkish Consulate General Edinburgh)

The Office of the Education Attaché of the Turkish Consulate General in Edinburgh is now launching a programme aiming to teach children and adults some basic language skills such as reading, writing, speaking and listening in Turkish, and the Turkish culture.

The language programme is going to be conducted by expert teachers and offered for free. The courses will be held alongside the school terms in Scotland and will be supplemented by social, cultural and other educational activities whenever possible.

The courses will be offered to the children of Turkish families living in Scotland, the Northern Ireland and the North of England (including York). Our classes will be held face-to-face in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and start online in other cities.

If there are any other locations that has not been mentioned and if you are interested attending please do fill in the application form with your requirements and we will try and accommodate the request via online courses.

If you are Interested please fill in the attached form and send it to edinburgea@gmail.com.

After receiving applications, the Education Attaché’s Office will announce the timetable and the venues for the courses.

Students between the ages of 6 and 16 will be able to attend our courses however should there be a demand for different age groups this will also be considered.

Should you have any enquires please contact us at edinburgea@gmail.com.

Related Files

Grant scheme assists celebration of Doric

16 September 2021 (The Doric Board)

The richness and diversity of the North East’s Doric culture is set to receive a funding boost, thanks to the launch of the Doric Board New Year Awards 2022.

The Doric Board has just opened up the third annual awards to applications from projects which celebrate the region’s exceptional heritage of Doric language, music, ballad, song, story, history, lore – and the creativity of those who live and work in the area.

Once again, grants of up to £1000 will be made available to applicants who reside in the North East to assist in the funding of projects which comply with the Board’s objectives - the promotion of the language, traditions and culture of the North-east of Scotland. 

The scheme is part of the founding aim of the Doric Board and was created with the support of the Scottish Government to develop and support a sustainable, dynamic future for Doric as a vibrant language.

The Doric Board (North-East Tradition and Language - NETAL) aims to be a powerful voice for social and economic regeneration, and a driver towards a national Scots language board.  Earlier this year, it also spearheaded the first annual Doric Phrase Week which used the power of online and social media technology to get the public on board and submit favourite phrases and anecdotes which were shared a sizeable, global audience.

Commenting on the launch of the 2022 Doric Board New Year Awards, Doric Board chair Frieda Morrison said: “The lengths our applicants went to in realising their projects this year and last year are a clear illustration of the unwavering support which exists for the language and culture.

“We hope that the launch of the 2022 New Year Awards will inspire applications which represent the wealth of pride and passion there is for Doric, and we are excited to see the diverse range of projects which might benefit from our help.”

Applications should be emailed to The Doric Board by 12th December 2021.  Funds will be made available to successful applicants the in mid-January 2022. 

To find out more, visit the website at www.doricboard.com or email info@doricboard.com.

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September Bitesize: Early Years creative puppetry and language learning drop-in

16 September 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT monthly drop-ins are free, themed virtual events that are open to teachers and student primary teachers working in Scotland. Drop-ins are an opportunity to share your thoughts on that month’s Bitesize resource and/or share your own experience on the theme.

In September 2021, we’re looking at language learning in the Early Years and exploring the use of creative puppetry to support this. So join the drop-in on 29 September, share your ideas and experiences and hear what others do too!  

Find out more, along with the registration link, on our Bitesize webpage.

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Revamped Inverness Castle to celebrate Gaelic culture in setting ‘to rival Edinburgh Tattoo’

16 September 2021 (Press and Journal)

One of Scotland’s first Gaelic gardens will be created at Inverness Castle.

The garden is part of a plan to showcase Gaelic language and culture in the ambitious castle redevelopment.

Members of the Highland Council Gaelic committee warmly welcomed the proposals at today’s meeting.

Chairman Allan Henderson said: “It’s an impressive project and I can certainly see when the next Mod comes to Inverness, the massed choirs up there on the esplanade in an area to rival the Edinburgh Festival Tattoo any time.”

You’d be forgiven for wondering what makes a garden Gaelic.

High Life Highland, which is leading the project for the council, say the plants chosen have stories that link back to Gaelic medicines, religion and traditions.

Gaelic phrases and alphabet will be set into the stone, helping to tell the story of the ancient culture.

Elsewhere, a ‘seanchaidh’ (traditional Gaelic storyteller) will welcome visitors to the castle and allow them to discover stories from all over Highland.

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Filmhouse cinema programme for secondary pupils

16 September 2021 (Glasgow Filmhouse)

Glasgow Filmhouse is delighted to be re-opening its doors to schools with an engaging programme of films for all ages and stages. As well as welcoming regular partners such as the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival, French Film Festival UK and Into Film, the Filmhouse will be showcasing films picked by the education team to mark Black History Month, COP 26 and to celebrate Christmas!  

Visit the website for more information about the programme for schools and to book screenings.

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e-Sgoil study support webinars 2021

14 September 2021 (e-Sgoil)

During Autumn 2021 e-Sgoil is offering a programme of real time interactive Study Support Webinars.

A variety of subjects are on offer at different levels from National 4 to Advanced Higher. 

The webinars include sessions for students of French, Spanish and Gaelic. Classes have just started so there's still time for pupils to register.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for more information.

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Masters study opportunity for LLP/TTT and TeLT alumni

10 September 2021 (SCILT/University of Strathclyde)

Four questions for Scottish primary and secondary teachers:

  • Are you interested in developing yourself professionally and academically through Masters study?
  • Have you been a participant on the Education Scotland/SCILT course called Languages Leadership Programme (LLP, previously known as Train the Trainer) within the last five years?
  • Have you been a student on the Open University/SCILT programme called Teachers Learning to Teach Languages in Primary School (TeLT) within the last five years?
  • Were you awarded GTCS Professional Recognition from either of these programmes?

If the answer is yes, then you are eligible to accredited prior learning (APL) to the tune of 20 Masters credits, enabling you to transfer onto Masters in Education (MEd) pathways at the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde.

The award of GTCS Professional Recognition from these programmes gives access to the following pathways:

Interested? 

For the MEd Education Studies route contact Angela De Britos angela.de-britos@strath.ac.uk

For the MEd Educational Leadership route contact Joanna Holmes joanna.holmes@strath.ac.uk

RZSS Beyond the Panda FREE virtual programmes

6 September 2021 (RZSS)

P1-P3 Two live virtual sessions available after the October break until December but only on Thursdays. Advisable to book now as limited places. Choose from 'Intro to the giant panda' or 'I can see, hear, smell, taste and touch'. Both are based around the giant panda and include some basic Mandarin language learning. Limited places. Contact Sandie Robb - srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking. 

P4-P7 Seven week progressive programme through live virtual sessions. Book now for delivery in January to March 2022 (already fully booked for 2021). Covers many topics on China, its wildlife, endangered species and culture. Ideal for L3 Mandarin or China topic. Includes some basic Mandarin language learning. Key objectives are on the flyer. Limited places. Contact Sandie Robb - srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking. 

All sessions are delivered on Microsoft Teams within GLOW. Enabled by our partnership with CISS and eSgoil. 

Further details and additional resources can be found on the Beyond the Panda website.

Read more...

Related Files

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival: programme for schools

6 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is back for its eight edition and would like to invite you once again to participate in the School Programme aimed at Spanish Learning students.

Due to COVID-19, we are changing the regular format to a Hybrid Event. This means we will be offering two films tailored to Primary and Secondary schools.

Please see attached the information about the films and a pre-recorded virtual workshop by Intersect Madrid for secondary schools.

Related Files

MTOT 2021-22 - Our multilingual poetry competition is back!

3 September 2021 (SCILT)

We are delighted to announce the launch of MTOT 2021-22! This competition offers schools and learners the opportunity to use their language skills creatively, by producing an original poem, song or rap in a language they speak at home (Mother Tongue) or are learning at school (Other Tongue). We are continuing our focus on the spoken word, so entries can be in video or audio format.

Last year, despite all the challenges, MTOT went from strength to strength, and the creativity shown by all those who entered was truly uplifting. Our winners were featured on the Kid’s Poetry Club podcast, and MTOT now has its own dedicated section on the UK Children’s Poetry Archive. As if that wasn’t enough, this year we are also partnering with the Dictionaries of the Scots Language, who are offering a special prize for winning entries in Scots. 

Whatever your language, we want you to find your voice and share it with us. We can’t wait to see what this year’s young poets will produce!

Teachers should register interest by 7 October 2021 (National Poetry Day), and all entries will be submitted by 3 December 2021. 

Visit our MTOT webpage for full details.

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World Wide Napier magazine - Call for submissions

2 September 2021 (Napier University)

World Wide Napier, the magazine in foreign languages designed by language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for issue eight of the publication. The next issue's overarching theme is 'Revolution'. Pick a subject associated with revolution and turn it into an engaging article. 

Students at secondary school, college or university are invited to submit contributions by email by 10 November 2021.

Visit the World Wide Napier website for more information and submission guidelines.

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Our World 2021-22

31 August 2021 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based filmmaking project for S3 - S6 pupils. It's designed to complement the Curriculum for Excellence and help tackle the Attainment Challenge by providing a free project which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Teams of 4 (S3-S6) design a storyboard which outlines the film they propose to make. This year's films will explore the idea of global citizenship, must include the use of a language other than English, and should touch on the theme of the Sustainable Development Goals. Each team must choose at least one of the 17 SDGs to focus their film on.

Registration for the 2021-22 project is now open - https://ourworldproject.wufoo.com/forms/z1fa1wdl0fdqs2a/

Visit the SEET website for more information and register to take part.

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French Workshops for Higher and Advanced Higher

24 August 2021 (Edinburgh College)

With funding from the Franco-Scottish Society, Edinburgh College is pleased to offer free online courses for Higher and Advanced Higher French pupils, which will be delivered from September 2021. Their aim is to provide additional support to pupils who get limited time for speaking practice so that they feel more confident for their speaking exam. Open to any Higher or Advanced Higher French pupil who would benefit from additional input, wherever they are in Scotland.

Follow the appropriate link below for further information and an application form:

New fund will encourage island communities to increase use of Gaelic

23 August 2021 (Press and Journal)

A new fund is giving island communities a financial incentive to speak Gaelic more and help save the language.

The Gaelic Community Fund is being piloted in the Highlands, the Western Isles and Argyll and Bute.

It aims to encourage innovative ways to increase use of the language in its heartland.

Set up by Community Land Scotland (CLS), with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, it is mainly targeting community-owned areas.

Read more...

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages course overview

16 August 2021 (SQA)

Visit the SQA website for the updated Advanced Higher Modern Languages course overview for session 2021-22.

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The Jacqueline Munro-Lafon Essay Prize 2021 - Winners announced!

16 August 2021 (SCILT/Franco-Scottish Society)

The Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland, in partnership with SCILT (Scotland's National Centre for Languages), established an essay prize in honour of Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon’s long and active life in the Franco-Scottish Community and to mark her one hundredth birthday.

Pupils from across Scotland took part in the competition and produced a high quality of essays. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held by Zoom on Tuesday 15 June 2021. A recording of this, along with a list of the winning entries, is now available on the Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland website.

Read more...

Police carry out ‘language audit’ in drive to encourage Gaelic speakers

12 July 2021 (The Times)

For decades police chiefs have recruited Highlanders and Islanders, often Gaels, to keep order in Scotland’s cities, but now they are trying to find out how many are left in their ranks.

Police Scotland have carried out a Gaelic audit to calculate how many officers and staff speak the language — and how many it, ideally, would need to do so.

Read more...

Social media duo set to front Gaelic language initiative

11 July 2021 (Grampian Online)

BBC presenters and social media stars Joy Dunlop and Calum Maclean are to lead SpeakGaelic, a new language learning initiative aiming to transform take up of the language.

SpeakGaelic’s exciting and ambitious new Gaelic learning resources will provide a comprehensive framework for Gaelic language learning across TV, iPlayer, BBC Sounds, web, face-to-face classes, YouTube and other social media to attract and inspire learners and speakers.

Read more...

Gaelic in crisis: A year on from report claiming the language ‘could collapse in a decade’, what has changed?

2 July 2021 (Press and Journal)

Today marks one year since a study was published warning that Gaelic was at risk of collapse within a decade.

The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community was compiled by researchers from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Language Sciences Institute and Soillse, a multi-institutional research collaboration.

It was said to be the most comprehensive social survey on the state of Gaelic communities ever conducted.

The findings seemed to set alarm bells ringing. But 12 months on, what has changed?

According to the report’s author Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, not a whole lot.

Mr Ó Giollagáin, professor of Gaelic research at UHI, believes there is still an impasse between Gaelic bodies and island communities over language decision-making.

He said there is need for “root and branch reform” and that new thinking and alternative views on a way forward should be considered.

‘The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community’ was published on July 2 last year.

Researchers studied the use of the language in the Western Isles, in Staffin in Skye and in Tiree. In these areas, Gaelic speakers could total just 11,000, most of them over 50.

The report warned Gaelic will collapse as a viable community language within a decade unless a radical new approach is taken to revitalise it.

Campaigners say Gaelic-speaking communities have been ignored and marginalised by policy makers and called for more local decision-making.

Read more...

What next for Gaelic – new parliament, new start?

25 June 2021 (Bella Caledonia)

This week has seen a debate in the Scottish Parliament on the future direction of Gaelic policy, on a backbench motion tabled by Alasdair Allan, MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles), with significant cross-party support. According to Allan, ‘The next parliamentary term will be important in securing the status and vitality of the Gaelic language. The SNP outlined the most ambitious commitments for Gaelic in the history of the Scottish Parliament in our 2021 election manifesto.’ To what extent is this true, and what kinds of progress in Gaelic development can we hope to see in the next few years?

Read more...

Online language NQ courses with Edinburgh College

18 June 2021 (Edinburgh College)

Higher and Advanced Higher French workshops

With funding from the Franco-Scottish Society, Edinburgh College is pleased to offer free online courses for Higher and Advanced Higher French pupils, which will be delivered from September 2021. Their aim is to provide additional support to pupils who get limited time for speaking practice so that they feel more confident for their speaking exam. Open to any Higher or Advanced Higher French pupil who would benefit from additional input, wherever they are in Scotland.

Follow the appropriate link below for further information and an application form:

Free online language NQ courses for school pupils with Edinburgh College

School pupils who find their chosen language qualification is not offered in their school can study their NQ language course online for free with Edinburgh College. The following options are available:

  • National 5 and Higher: French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  • Advanced Higher: French and Spanish.
  • Exam arrangements: Though enrolled with Edinburgh College, pupils still sit their exams at their own school (including the Adv Higher speaking exam).

These online courses can be accessed across Scotland and all Scottish school pupils qualify for a full fee waiver.

See the online modern languages course flyer for more information. 

Save the Date! L3 knowledge exchange event coming soon….

17 June 2021 (SCILT)

L3 Knowledge Exchange Event flyer

We are delighted to announce that our knowledge event Moving Forward with L3: Challenge and Opportunity will take place online on Friday 10 September from 1.30 – 4pm. The event will explore the ways in which primary and secondary schools are incorporating L3 into the curriculum and will consider some of the challenges it poses. Themed parallel sessions will run throughout the afternoon where participants will have the opportunity to consider key points from presentations delivered and engage in professional dialogue with colleagues. This cross sector event is open to primary and secondary practitioners, language leads, PTs, Faculty heads, local authority development officers and relevant members of the school’s leadership team. We are looking forward to welcoming you to this event and further details on how to register will be available soon.

Renew, Refresh, Re-imagine! Scottish Learning Festival theme announced

16 June 2021 (Education Scotland)

The Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) is taking place online on Tuesday 21 September until Thursday 23 September 2021 and the theme for this year’s event has been confirmed: ‘Renew, Refresh, Re-imagine: Learning from our experiences and looking to the future.’

SLF is free to attend and the conference programme is developed to support career long professional learning, helping to keep professional practice fresh, up-to-date and relevant.

Further details will follow soon. Register for updates on the Education Scotland website. 

Read more...

Certificate of Continuing Education (CCEd) in Italian & Spanish

15 June 2021 (University of Strathclyde)

The Certificate of Continuing Education (CCEd) is an intensive beginners’ class that will bring you up to first-year university standard in a year, with the option of continuing your studies into second year and up to university pass degree level within three years. We are currently accepting applications for the next three-year cycle of the Certificate of Continuing Education in Italian (we will also accept applications for direct entry to second year, commencing September 2022, from suitably qualified candidates) and the Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish which, numbers permitting, will both commence in September 2021.

Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about each of the course options:

e-Sgoil Gaelic courses from August 2021

15 June 2021 (e-Sgoil)

Formal registrations are now invited for e-Sgoil's national offer of Gaelic courses for the academic session commencing August 2021.

Visit the website for further information and to register pupils (Glow login required).

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SCILT will soon be recruiting a new Professional Development Officer to expand its existing secondary team

11 June 2021 (SCILT)

  • Are you a committed and dynamic secondary teacher of Modern Languages looking for a new challenge?
  • Do you have the leadership skills to support colleagues with inspiring and research-informed professional learning?
  • Do you have the creativity to design and lead projects that shape and improve learning for Scotland’s young people?

If so, then this may be the opportunity for you to develop your skills and support learning at a national level.

More details on the post and application process coming soon!

Enquiries and notes of interest to SCILT scilt@strath.ac.uk

Gaelic campaigners accuse SNP of 'sidelining' crisis facing language

31 May 2021 (The Herald)

Gaelic campaigners have accused the SNP Government of "sidelining" the crisis facing the language as they called for urgent talks over its future.

In an open letter, new campaign group Guth nan Siarach said speakers are "effectively excluded from the decision-making processes for our native language in its own place". 

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

IDT Wien 2022: Mit.Sprache.Teil.Haben

31 May 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

The International Conference of German Teachers (IDT) is the largest forum in the field of German as a foreign language worldwide. It not only provides training and mediation between theory and practice, but is also an excellent opportunity for networking. The next IDT will take place 15 - 20 August 2022 in Vienna, Austria.

If you work at a Scottish school or other DaF educational organisation in Scotland and are interested in a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut Glasgow to attend, email to register your interest by 15 June 2021. Visit the Goethe-Institut Glasgow website for more information.

Read more...

Catching up with the rest of the world: The foreign languages revolution in Scottish schools

30 May 2021 (Press and Journal)

Scottish schools are undergoing a revolution in foreign language learning in an attempt to reverse generations of neglect.

After years of being derided as ‘lazy’ linguists abroad, there are plans to produce a multilingual workforce.

Few school systems demand less foreign language learning from their children than those in the UK.

This is not helped by having a native language that is the ‘lingua franca’ of the world.

But a Scottish Government policy is setting out to change all that.

Under the 1+2 Languages initiative, pupils will learn their own language (L1) plus two others (L2 and L3).

The L2 will be taught from Primary 1, and the L3 from Primary 5 to 7. There will be compulsory teaching of at least one foreign language until S3.

Education bosses will fully implement the “ambitious” policy for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Based on the last Scottish Government survey in 2019, 88% of primary schools – approximately 1,760 schools – were delivering the full L2 entitlement.

This already represents significant progress. Anyone in their 30s who went to a Scottish state school won’t have studied foreign languages until secondary school.

The Scottish Government has spent more than £45million since 2013 on increasing foreign language learning in schools.

Teachers are currently being provided with training and support in readiness for the changes.

Read more...

Bòrd na Gàidhlig new website

20 May 2021 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

The recently renewed website from Bòrd na Gàidhlig includes useful information about all sectors of gaelic education in Scotland, along with guidance documentation.

Resources are all available in the Education section of the website.

Read more...

May Bitesize: Parental Engagement in Schools – Primary & Secondary drop-in

11 May 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT monthly drop-ins are free, themed virtual events that are open to teachers and student primary teachers working in Scotland. Drop-ins are an opportunity to share your thoughts on that month’s Bitesize resource and/or share your own experience on the theme.

In May 2021, we’re looking at parental engagement and how schools approach this in a languages context. So join the drop-in on 26 May, share your ideas and experiences and hear what others do too!  

Find out more, along with the registration link, on our Bitesize webpage.

Read more...

Partial Early Level Experiences & Outcomes and Benchmarks for modern languages have been published!

11 May 2021 (Education Scotland)

Es & Os and Benchmarks for modern languages for a Primary 1 start to language learning were published on the NIH on Monday, 10th May and represent an important piece of national curricular support for the 1+2 policy. The original Es & Os published in 2009 for modern languages were for curriculum levels 2, 3 & 4 only, as language learning in primary schools at that time traditionally began in P6. When the 1+2 policy was introduced in 2012/13 in schools, Education Scotland provided First Level Es and Os to support practitioners with planning to introduce language teaching from an earlier stage in primary schools; these represented a sufficient resource for a number of years, however, a measure of success of the implementation of the policy has meant that many more schools have language learning fully in place from Primary 1, hence the need for a partial suite of Es & Os and Benchmarks to support teachers with a P1 start to language learning (as the 1+2 policy begins in P1 and is not funded for pre-P1 learning) and comprise eight Es, Os and benchmark statements.

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Beyond the Panda CLPL

5 May 2021 (RZSS)

Beyond the Panda is the RZSS giant panda and Mandarin education programme. RZSS is a science specialist Confucius Classroom and offers a unique programme covering science while learning some of the Mandarin language and Chinese characters. It is designed for cross curricular learning where students investigate and discover more about China, its culture, language, geography, giant pandas and other Chinese wildlife. 

This virtual CLPL course will hope to engage and inspire teaching staff to use the Beyond the Panda online resources with their students in order to develop a love of nature, animals and conservation and in particular to realise the biodiversity of China and the relevance of the Chinese language and culture. Delivered through Microsoft Teams within Glow. 

In partnership with DYWLive and eSgoil, there are three opportunities to book, starting at 4pm on either Tuesday 25th May, Thursday 10th or Thursday 17th June. Booking is through DYWLive, under Professional Learning - Beyond the Panda CLPL 

Read more...

French language learning with the Alliance Française and Institut français

4 May 2021 (Alliance Française/Institut français)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow and Institut français in Edinburgh offer a range of opportunities for learners of French. The following are some of their forthcoming activities.

  • AF online Summer Classes for adults between June and September 2021
  • To celebrate the Cannes Festival in July, IFcinéma à la carte is offering a special selection of French films from 10 May to 10 June 2021
  • A selection of online resources including cinema reviews, podcasts, virtual tours of French museums and monuments, a baking workshop and news about the IF Beyond Words literary festival from 17 May 2021

Further information can be found on the Alliance Française website.

Read more...

Free Gaelic lessons for Glasgow City Council staff

3 May 2021 (BBC)

Fèisean nan Gàidheal has developed a course for Glasgow City Council staff as part of the authority's aim to develop Gaelic in the city.

The Gaelic arts organization is working with the council after many staff indicated that they would like to learn the language.

The online lessons for adults will be available over nine weeks and the course will start on the 4th of May.

Read more...

MTOT 2021 - winner videos now available!

30 April 2021 (SCILT)

In academic session 2020-21, after a short hiatus, SCILT relaunched the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, with a new focus on the spoken word. Learners were invited not only to write a poem in their mother or other tongue, but to perform it so that their words could be heard in their own voice. The work produced by all the young poets who took part was wonderful, especially during this most challenging year. The winning and highly commended video entries from this year's competition in Scotland are now available to view on the MTOT Awards page of SCILT's website.

Read more...

Cuach Na Cloinne 2021 - The Player

24 April 2021 (FC Sonas/CnaG)

FC Sonas, the bilingual football service, is delighted to be working in partnership with CnaG to offer 4 online sessions to pupils in Gaelic medium education (primary and secondary) across the country to celebrate Cuach na Cloinne 2021.

FC Sonas will speak to some of the Gaelic speakers to be found in the world of football, both players and experts. There will be debates, questions, challenges and much more.

Visit the website for more information and to register your child/class by 5 May 2021.

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

22 April 2021 (SQA)

The SQA has added a new additional resource document on Gathering key evidence and provisional results. This can be found in the Understanding Standards dropdown section of the AH Modern Languages page on their website.

Read more...

e-Sgoil Study Support

21 April 2021 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil's Term 4 study support sessions for senior phase students in Scotland will commence 26 April 2021. They offer a wide range of real-time, interactive Study Support webinar lessons to help consolidate pupils' school-based learning. The timetable includes sessions for N5, Higher and Advanced Higher French and Spanish.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for full details and to book. Pupils will need their Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number.

Read more...

Presentations now available! Scotland’s Languages Landscape: Equity in Diversity Event, 26 February 2021

20 April 2021 (SCILT)

If you missed any part of this event, then we have good news for you! Materials are now available on our website to view at your own leisure, including video presentations from Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, Keynote speaker, Dr Stacey Margarita Johnson, Assistant Director of the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and Plenary speaker, Louise Glen, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland, highlighting the importance of providing all learners with access to a wide range of language and intercultural experiences.

PowerPoint presentations used from facilitated discussions, including testimonials and speaker biographies are also available to view and will be of interest to the language teaching community and community-based organisations.

Read more...

SNP announce plans to explore creation of recognised Gaelic-speaking area

14 April 2021 (The Herald)

The SNP has announced plans to secure the future of Gaelic by investing in education and exploring the creation of a recognised Gaelic-speaking area. 

The party said it will work to ensure Gaelic flourishes throughout Scotland as well as in its traditional heartlands if it is re-elected in May.

It also said it would "review the functions and structures" of Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG), the quango responsible for promoting the language. 

BnG has been the focus of criticism over its performance. 

The SNP said it would look into creating a recognised "Gàidhealtachd" to raise levels of language competence and encourage the provision of more services in Gaelic.

The Gaidhealtachd is the area of Scotland where people speak Gaelic and usually refers to the Highlands and islands. 

Read more...

Teachers Learning to Teach Languages: OU-SCILT Programme

1 April 2021 (Open University/SCILT)

Registration for the Open University (OU) and SCILT online CPD programme in primary languages, known as TELT, is now open for the 2021 intake. The modules begin on 2 October with induction activities starting on 20 September, and finish in July 2022. The fee in Scotland is £264.00 per module place. Please request registration packs by 30 June 2021.

You can find important information about the programme at our dedicated TELT programme websiteThere you can see which languages and levels we offer, FAQs and what our past students say.

To register, please contact the OU corporate registrations team by writing to corporate-enquiries@open.ac.uk. NB please also copy scotland-languages@open.ac.uk into your email.

Please note it is important for prospective TELT students to plan ahead and ensure that they will be able to dedicate sufficient time to their study, because, once the module start date has passed, deferral is not possible. The fee will still be payable and cannot be refunded if students decide to defer or withdraw from studying the module.

Should you have any questions about this programme please contact scotland-languages@open.ac.uk.

Read more...

French Film Festival UK 2021

25 March 2021 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning Programme is delighted to bring French-speaking cinema to Scotland’s schools between April and June 2021.

A selection of films on DVD are available on request and will be sent directly to schools. To accompany the selection of films for different age groups, school screenings are enhanced by online learning resources prepared by Lise Morel. Participating teachers will be able to download these Learning Packs as PDFs to use in the classroom. These resources have been designed in accordance with the Modern Languages Experience and Outcomes for Curriculum for Excellence.

Please note that for schools within attainment challenge authorities, this resource is available free of charge. For further information, email schools@frenchfilmfestival.org.uk

Calling all 1+2 LLP/Train the Trainer participants 2014-2019 – Join the Languages Leadership Programme Team!

25 March 2021 (SCILT)

Did you attend Education Scotland and SCILT’s Summer School for the 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme 2017-2019, or Train the Trainer 2014-2016? If so, then this role might be for you!

Scotland’s new Languages Leadership Programme launches in June of this year. To begin with, participants will attend 2 days of online professional learning led by Education Scotland on 18-19 June through a vibrant online LLP learning community using Teams in Glow.

During 2021-22, participants will then take part in the LLP affiliated professional learning of their choice from a menu of LLP affiliated opportunities from Education Scotland, SCILT and LANGS partners. During this time they will complete a number of critical reflection tasks in relation to their leadership activity and LLP affiliated professional learning. Over the course of the year, Critical Friends will each support a small number of participants, providing regular feedback on their critical reflection tasks.

Wondering whether you could be a critical friend?

  • Have you benefitted from taking part in the 1+2 LLP/TTT programme yourself?
  • Have you previously undertaken or would you like to undertake a coaching, mentoring or critical friend role to support colleagues with their professional development?

If so, then you will bring a wealth of commitment, understanding and skills to the new Critical Friend role on this innovative pilot. You will be involved in the evaluation process at different stages during the year and professional learning and support will be provided to you. In addition, Critical Friends will also be supported to submit an individual application for GTCS Professional Recognition. 

Visit the registration page to find out how you can apply to join the LLP team as a Critical Friend by Monday 17 May.

If you have any questions about applying for this role, please email scilt@strath.ac.uk and include ‘LLP’ in the subject line.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Read more...

French online in a fun and friendly environment

18 March 2021 (Language for Fun)

At La Jolie Ronde, Sandra has been teaching extracurricular French classes for around 11 years, working locally in Livingston and Falkirk. Originally from France, she employs her passion for languages through her teaching programme tailored to all age groups, with pupils ranging from the age of 2 up to 16 years old. She also offers ongoing classes after pupils leave school so they can fit French lessons into their busy day and continue their French.

Sandra also runs a second business called Language for Fun, where she provides French classes to adults. Whether you are beginner or advanced, Language for Fun offers four different levels of French teaching and support for adults looking to pick up a second language.

Sandra has recently been recognised for the quality of her lessons and teaching by receiving the La Jolie Ronde Licensee of the Year Award for Scotland and the North of England. This award demonstrates the work Sandra puts into her teaching and her business.

Through teaching French to around 100 pupils a week, Sandra hopes to share not only her passion as a French teacher, but also the opportunity for everyone to learn French. She is proud of Language For Fun individually tailored Virtual Learning Environment, where French can easily be learnt from the comfort of your own home, in a fun and friendly teaching environment.

If you would like to redeem your FREE hour taster session (reference_SfkSUCoE) offered to SCILT readers, please contact Sandra directly by text  on 07503 465 341; by email sandra@languageforfun.uk or via her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/French-for-fun-Livingston-298150100848787/.

Short conversation course for secondary teachers

15 March 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you a secondary school teacher of German teaching at a school in Scotland? Would you like to practice your conversational skills and keep yourself up-to-date with current affairs in German speaking countries?  

This conversation course will be right for you. We will be discussing a wide range of topics based on current newspaper articles, radio programmes and clips from German television. You will be taking away up-to-date materials and, hopefully, inspiration and lots of good ideas for your classroom.

The course will also provide an opportunity for networking and sharing best practice examples amongst German language teachers.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register by 29 March 2021. Please note, places are limited.

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e-Sgoil Easter study support

11 March 2021 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil is offering an Easter programme (6-16 April) of real-time, interactive webinars covering Nat 4 to Advanced Higher, for Scottish learners in the Senior Phase. The programme is not designed to deliver whole course content but will focus on key aspects of the subject(s) and hints and tips on how to be successful in assessments.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for full programme details and to book.

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

8 March 2021 (SQA)

The SQA has updated information in the Understanding Standards section of their Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage. The section contains additional resources for the 2020-21 session.

Read more...

How Scottish Gaelic is helping protect Scotland’s seas

5 March 2021 (The Conversation)

Regulations brought in following the UK’s departure from the EU have delayed the export of live shellfish to Europe, causing entire lorry loads of lobsters and langoustines to expire in Scotland’s ports.

Fishing is a relatively small part of the UK’s economy, but fishing rights dominated much of the Brexit negotiations with the European Union. And with the UK free of the EU’s environmental protections, fishing is once more a battleground for competing ideas in marine conservation.

While these debates nearly always concern numbers – catch quotas, stock levels, prices and tariffs – focusing on these quantifiable aspects alone can lead us to overlook the values that keep people fishing in the first place.

Our research on inshore fishing in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides – a sparsely populated island chain off the west coast – took us from boats to processing plants and archives, revealing a commitment to sustainability that’s rooted in more than just legislation. We found that nurturing the culture and language of these islands is as important as protecting wildlife to preserve a thriving marine environment for generations to come.

Around 75% of fishermen in the Outer Hebrides are Gaelic speakers, far higher than the 61% of speakers for the islands’ population as a whole. Scottish Gaelic is a Celtic language – related to, but quite distinct from Irish Gaelic – once spoken across much of Scotland, yet now primarily confined to its westernmost isles. The language declined over the 20th century and now has around 60,000 speakers.

Fishermen’s daily use of the language at work helps pass it on to the next generation, as young people become immersed in Scottish Gaelic while out on the boats and in the processing plants where the catch is landed.

Read more...

‘SQA has been dumbing down languages exams for years’

25 February 2021 (TES)

In 2017, I looked back on my 46 years of modern languages teaching. Despite fond memories, I felt unease. I sensed a disconnect between pupils’ competences and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results. I have met Higher pupils whose A grade left them floundering and unable to create spontaneous, simple German.

Three years’ research answered the question: have German teaching and testing – which I used as an exemplifier for modern languages – failed Scottish pupils? 

The SQA decision at the end of January to ditch the talking element of Advanced Higher shows that they continue to fail Scottish pupils and confirms my research findings.

Read more...

Multilingual Debate 2021

25 February 2021 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate students on our Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree programme, as well as the developing professional skills of postgraduate students on our MSc Interpreting and Translating programmes.

The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The Multilingual Debates 2021 will take place online via Zoom on Wednesday 24 March and Friday 26 March. 

Visit the Heriot-Watt Multilingual Debate webpage for more information and to register for the free event.

Read more...

eSgoil Easter study support

25 February 2021 (eSgoil)

Calling all teachers of Advanced Higher French, Spanish or German!

e-Sgoil is currently planning it's Easter Study Support programme. We are looking for experienced teachers who could deliver AH Webinars. There are three one hour sessions over the two weeks (6-16th April). 

Please get in touch for further information - email damacleod1a@gnes.net

MTOT 2021 - winners announced!

25 February 2021 (SCILT)

Whilst the current pandemic prevented us from hosting this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue celebratory awards event in the stunning Ramshorn Building in Glasgow, we managed to host our very own online red carpet event instead! Pupils, teachers and parents joined us online to hear the winners announced on the afternoon of Friday 19 February, a date especially chosen to tie in with International Mother Language Day on 21 February celebrating all world languages.

We are delighted to announce the following winners and highly commended entries in each category:

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Zayne Emengo-Okpo

St Aloysius College JS

Hausa

Highly commended

Eloïse Harkins

St Aloysius College JS

French

P5-P7

Winner

Lucja Lubanska

St Charles’ Primary

Polish

Highly commended

Ahmad Raza

Newmains Primary

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Pranay Neppalli

Craigmount High

Telugu

Highly commended

Filip Strzalka

Craigmount High

Polish

S4-S6

Winner

Chancelvie Bembo

St Benedicts

French

Highly commended

Lovely Selwyn

Bishopbriggs Academy

Tamil

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Abbie Rettie

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

Highly commended

Haroon Majid

Braidbar Primary

French

Highly commended

Stephanie Mackay-Watt

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

P5-P7

Winner

Isobel Ross

Braidbar Primary

BSL

Highly commended

Evelina Finkova

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

S1-S3

Winner

Rona Bryden

Loudoun Academy

German

Highly commended

Anna d’Alessio

Bishopbriggs Academy

Italian

Highly commended

Alistair Hillis

Jordanhill

Mandarin

S4-S6

Winner

Lewis Fleming

St Thomas Aquinas

Spanish

Highly commended

Anya Jarvis

Loudoun Academy

French

Highly commended

Ellie McGill

Carrick Academy

French

 

All pupils will receive a certificate and book token. Winning entrants will also receive a trophy as well as the opportunity for their poems to feature in The Children's Poetry Archive and Kids Poetry Club podcast. We will be in contact with schools shortly about taking these extra special opportunities forward.

It is our intention to host each of these poems on the SCILT website and we'll announce when these are available.

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

Glasgow Film Festival 2021

23 February 2021 (Glasgow Film Festival)

Glasgow is one of the friendliest film festivals on the planet with a wide-ranging programme that celebrates every corner of world cinema and provides a fantastic showcase for the best of Scottish film. The 2021 edition will take place from Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 7 March.

There are several foreign language screenings available for learners to practise listening skills.

If you haven't already secured your tickets, visit the website for full programme details and buy now.

Read more...

Arabic, Roma and Spanish on offer as Bhasha Glasgow Language Festival events revealed

18 February 2021 (Glasgow Evening Times)

From learning a few words to communicate with Roma neighbours to finding out more about British Sign Language - the Bhasha Glasgow language festival has lots to offer lockdown learners.

Now in its third year, the event takes place online from February 21 to 27.

A celebration of the city’s many languages and the people who speak them, this year’s festival is being hosted by the Thriving Places Govanhill initiative.

The week is jam packed with free daily activities that will explore Glasgow’s linguistic heritage and the vital role of its multilingual citizens, including quizzes, interactive language sessions, talks, and a radio show.

Read more...

Concours de la Francophonie 2021

18 February 2021 (Institut français)

The Institut français d’Ecosse launches le Concours de la Francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland and to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

The competition is open to all Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French. Enter by submitting a short video of classroom activity in French by 15 March 2021.

Visit the Institut français d’Ecosse website for more information.

Read more...

Mandarin for BGE 2021

18 February 2021 (CISS)

Do you want to include Mandarin in your school's curriculum but don't currently have the resources? CISS is offering 10 week blocks of live-streamed language and culture classes for Primary P5-P7 and Secondary S1-S3 to start in August 2021.

Further information can be found in the attached flyer. Register interest by 12 March 2021.

Related Files

Scottish island launches search for new Gaelic song to help prevent language from dying out

14 February 2021 (The Scotsman)

The Isle of Gigha, off the west coast of Kintyre, wants to commission a new song that can also be learned by non-Gaelic speakers who currently live there.

Read more...

Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon essay competition

11 February 2021 (SCILT/Franco-Scottish Society Scotland)

Jacqueline Munro-Lafon essay competition flyer

In honour of Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon’s long and active life in the Franco-Scottish Community, the Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland wish to award an essay prize in her name this year to mark her one hundredth birthday.

This competition is aimed at Advanced Higher learners of French. All essay submissions must present a reflection on life and society from 1921 to 2021 in France and Scotland, to take into account Madame Munro-Lafon’s life and interests.

The winning entry will be awarded a prize of £500, and their essay will also be published in the annual Bulletin of the Franco-Scottish Society. Two runner-up prizes of £100 will be awarded by SCILT.

  • A maximum of three entries can be submitted from each school. Register your interest for your school to get involved by 5pm on 1 March.

Visit the Eventbrite webpage for further information and how to register.

Read more...

Vacancy: German-speaking Assistant Consultant

8 February 2021 (British Council)

The Language Assistants team at the British Council is looking for a German-speaking Assistant Consultant to start work in late March, early April. Candidates must be comfortable using German in the workplace and have experience of living in a German-speaking country. The job will be based in the British Council’s Edinburgh office, although all work will be done from home until COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are eased and it is safe to return to the office.

Visit the website for the full job description and apply by 16 February 2021.

Read more...

SCILT Lessons from Lockdown Learning

4 February 2021 (SCILT)

During the first period of lockdown last year, from early May until the end of June, SCILT delivered a series of online live language classes which were open to learners across Scotland. With the help of feedback from learners and parents, and the input of external observers, we have examined and evaluated this online learning and teaching experience, and in the report, we share these evaluations and the key lessons learned during this time. We hope that it might prove helpful to teachers in the planning and delivery of online lessons.

We would also love to hear from you! We would really value your thoughts about your experiences of online teaching and any suggestions that you have, either for Professional Learning or support which we could provide, or advice that you would wish to pass on to fellow practitioners. Get in touch at scilt@strath.ac.uk!

Read SCILT Lessons from Lockdown – A review of online learning and teaching

CISS Nat 4, Nat 5 and Higher online Mandarin offer 2021-2022

2 February 2021 (CISS)

CISS is happy to be able to share the first details of our offer of live-streamed Mandarin NQ classes for the upcoming 2021-22 session. This will allow schools to expand their provision for Mandarin, particularly those who do not have access to a GTCS registered teacher of Mandarin and who have, therefore, been unable to offer NQ classes.  The following details will allow these courses to be added to course choice forms.  The official start date is still to be decided and will be confirmed as soon as circumstances allow.

Please register your school’s interest now

The offer consists of three courses: National 4, National 5 and Higher.

National 4

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

14.00-15.00

 

14.00-15.00

9.30 – 10.30

 

National 5

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

14.00-15.00

 

14.00-15.00

9.30 – 10.30

Higher

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9.30 – 10.30

15.00-16.00

9.30 – 10.30

15.00-16.00

14.00-15.00

 

Please read carefully the following information:

  • Learners can access the course from at school or at home. All they will require is access to the internet and their Glow account. All assessments will need to be undertaken in school under controlled conditions, supervised by a teacher.
  • The online teacher is PVG checked and GTCS registered.  She will provide and mark all teaching and assessment materials, and gather evidence of learners’ attainment. Schools will be responsible for:
  • obtaining approval to present these qualifications from SQA
  • presenting candidates for the relevant SQA qualifications
  • administering exams
  • ensuring that any assessment arrangements to which pupils are entitled are in place.

A designated GTCS class teacher must be assigned to support the delivery of Mandarin in your school. This teacher will be responsible for:

  • attendance and supervision of learners for each lesson
  • regular liaison with the GTCS Mandarin teacher via email/ virtual face-to-face conversation
  • co-ordinating reporting to parents
  • accessing and distributing class materials on Glow and uploading pupil work.
  • facilitating assessments.

The class teachers will not have responsibility for language teaching.  However, there is an expectation that they will help facilitate the learning.  They will also require time to deal with the administration associated with the course(s). This, therefore, requires a timetabled commitment from a member of staff.

Teaching materials, resources and assessments will be available for download.

Once notes of interest have been collated, further details will follow.  An online meeting will be arranged for all participating schools.  This will give an opportunity for staff to network with each other and to clarify any questions they may have.

Please get in touch at ciss-info@strath.ac.uk should you require additional, specific information.

Shettleston, Gartnavel, Auchenshuggle - the Gaelic influences on Glasgow place names

31 January 2021 (Glasgow Evening Times)

Gaelic was once a significant local language in Glasgow and its environs and there is still evidence of its influence today.

Often, some of the earliest evidence of the language spoken in a particular area can be found in its place names - take Shettleston, for example, or Baile Nighean Seadna (Seadna’s daughter’s farm), linking the area to a Gaelic-speaking woman of around 1170, or Gartnavel and Auchenshuggle - the Gaelic word ‘gart’ means farm, while ‘auch’ comes from achadh meaning ‘field’ or ‘farm’. 

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Dundee Scots: ‘We have to make sure the language keeps going otherwise the Dundee essence will pass away’

31 January 2021 (The Courier)

Michael Alexander speaks tae twa weel-kent faces fae Dundee’s cultural scene – Alistair Heather and Sheena Wellington – who have launched free online sessions helping participants develop their understanding of Dundee’s Scots language.

For Dundee born and bred traditional singer Sheena Wellington, the Scots language has always been an important part of life.

Coming from a family of weavers, the 76-year old former Blackness Primary and Harris Academy pupil was brought up in a Dundee Scots speaking household.

Yet despite being surrounded by her Dundee Scots speaking father, grannies and aunts at home, she vividly remembers being discouraged from speaking her mither tongue in school.

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Speaking removed from modern languages qualifications

29 January 2021 (TESS)

Modern languages teachers have hit out at Scotland’s exam body over its decision not to assess students' ability to speak the language they are learning as part of the Advanced Higher qualification this year.

In the most recent guidance produced by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, published last week, modern languages teachers have been told that, at Advanced Higher level, they are to base their teacher-estimated grades on reading, translation, listening and writing, but not on their students' ability to speak the language.

Modern languages teachers who spoke to Tes Scotland described the move as a “dumbing down” of the qualification, arguing that the key skill for a linguist to acquire is the ability to communicate. 

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New French and Spanish reading resources

28 January 2021 (Radio Lingua)

As we continue through these interesting times of online learning, we are delighted to announce that we will be sharing with teachers a free reading resource each day starting on Monday 1 February. Each cultural text will have accompanying comprehension questions, a translation challenge and an audio file , as well as an answer grid. These texts will be available on the RLN Education website, but each day the link to the new text will be posted on our Facebook page here.  We hope you find them a useful addition to your online resources and your learners enjoy the cultural content.

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Languages Week Scotland 2021 - Using film to teach languages

21 January 2021 (Screen Scotland)

Screen Scotland has put together a resource for Languages Week Scotland 2021 on using film to teach languages. See the attached document. There's also a Microsoft Team available to join for all subject teachers looking to teach with film: Screen Scotland: Film Education

SCILT professional learning leaflet

21 January 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT offers a wide range of professional learning opportunities for pre- and in-service teachers. Primary, secondary. Synchronous, asynchronous. One off, ongoing. Check out our updated CLPL flyer for all the details you need. Download and share with colleagues in your next virtual staff meeting.

Like you, our friendly primary and secondary Professional Development Officers are working online from home at the moment.  Make a booking or send a query to scilt@strath.ac.uk with CLPL in the subject line.  Alternatively, go direct to the Professional Learning area of the website to browse some more.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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SCILT Live Lessons for Senior Phase Learners

14 January 2021 (SCILT/eSgoil)

During the current lockdown, SCILT is delighted to support our partners at eSgoil by offering live language lessons. These will be available to all Senior Phase learners in Scotland – learners can register through the eSgoil website.

Daytime Study Support

  • Higher French – Thursdays at 11.15
  • National 5 French – Tuesdays at 11.15
  • Higher Spanish – Tuesdays at 14.15
  • National 5 Spanish – Wednesdays at 09.30

You can register for Daytime Study Support Sessions here- http://www.e-sgoil.com/daytimestudysupport2020/

SCILT is continuing to offer evening support sessions for Advanced Higher:

  • Advanced Higher Spanish – Wednesdays at 17.00
  • Advanced Higher French – Thursdays at 17.00

You can register for Evening Study Support Sessions here - http://www.e-sgoil.com/studysupport2020/

eSgoil is offering a wide range of support for learners of all ages throughout lockdown, and SCILT is proud to support them and Scotland’s educational community through these challenging times.

Engage with the wider school community and develop blended learning

12 January 2021 (PowerLanguage)

In order to support Schools and their wider communities, we have created a new package to help with home learning. 

Our PowerLanguage Online Course for Families - available in French or Spanish - has been successfully running in many parts of Scotland since 2016. It was designed to develop the partnership between Schools, pupils and the wider community. Parents and carers can embark on a meaningful and exciting language journey shared by all family members!

  • The course is accessible online or through an App. It contains 6 lessons which follow a gentle progression, reinforcing the key language introduced in Primary Schools. 
  • In each lesson, new structures are presented in French or Spanish, as well as in English, by a native tutor or in an animation. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube
  • The cultural podcasts introduce slices of French/Spanish life and focus on playground games, songs, special monuments and various landscapes. Small tasks are attached to each video. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube.
  • Families can assess their progress through short challenges at the end of each lesson. One of the 3 challenges can be delivered at School, thus reinforcing the link between School and home learning.

A case study on the impact of this Course on families and schools was produced in Scotland in 2016 by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT). 

You can also watch this video to see the impact of our Course for Families on a school and its wider community in Western Australia.

Cost: in order to make the Course available to all, a licence can be bought by the School and shared with their wider community. The annual cost is £100 per course (French or Spanish). Schools can also buy the course for a one-off fee of £500 per course for indefinite use. (Schools who have previously purchased this Course used some of their PEF funding to cover the cost). 

Level: The course is available in French or Spanish for primary school learners and their families who are beginners/post beginners.

Scottish Schools may wish to launch this Course in advance of Languages Week Scotland (1-5 February 2021). 

Please contact us info@powerlanguage.net to find out more or visit our website. 

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La Jolie Ronde French and Spanish Free Trials

11 January 2021 (La Jolie Ronde)

During Languages Week Scotland, 1-5 February 2021, FREE TRIALS will be available of La Jolie Ronde's two award winning French and Spanish resources.  

La Jolie Ronde Languages for Children is a leading early language learning organisation offering a proven method of teaching young children French and Spanish. La Jolie Ronde’s award winning programmes are unique, modern and of the highest quality. FREE TRIALS on their resources are available as follows:

  • Little Languages Resource (P1-P3)
  • French and Spanish Resource (P4-P7)
  • French or Spanish free taster Online class

For more information email schools@lajolieronde.co.uk

#scotlandloveslanguages

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SEET's Our World project update

11 January 2021 (SEET)

Due to the new lockdown measures introduced by the Scottish Government on 4 January, including the closure of schools, SEET have pushed back the storyboard submission deadline to Friday 5 February 2021. They have also adapted the project and expanded the project's reach by increasing participation options for home learning and accommodating for both individual and group participation. Please see below for a summary of the changes:

  • S1-6 may take part in 2021, not only S3-6 pupils.  
  • Storyboard submission deadline extended to Friday 5 February 2021 (extra 3 weeks) 
  • Accompanying video/audio clip explaining the storyboard is now optional. Storyboard and links to SDG theme and languages must be clear if no additional description is provided. 
  • We are accepting storyboard entries from teams AND entries from individual pupils if pupil collaboration is no longer possible. More guidance on team participation available. 
  • We will be able to invite more pupils to take part in the filmmaking stage, as we are no longer limited to in-person venue workshop capacity.  
  • Creation of password protected online portal to support pupils through the filmmaking stages. This will include video tutorials from filmmakers, written guidance and tutorials, resources, and clear instructions for pupils.

Visit the SEET website for more information about the Our World project.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland

7 January 2021 (SCILT)

Languages Week Scotland 2021 will take place during the week 1–5 February. The theme is ‘Celebrating Scotland’s languages landscape’ and the aim is to amplify the voices of people, organisations and events that celebrate multilingualism and the many ways it manifests in Scottish communities. 

Follow the hashtag #scotlandloveslanguages or the dedicated Twitter account @LangsWeekScot to find out what is happening or to share anything you will do with your learners to mark the week.

Schools can download the Languages Week Scotland logo from the SCILT website (Resources for Languages Week Scotland). Please add to emails and other promotional materials to show your support. 

Keep your eye out for daily challenges from 1-5 February, which will engage learners whether in the classroom or at home.

French oral revision courses

7 January 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is running online revision courses during January and February for those scheduled to sit Higher and Advanced Higher French exams in 2021.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

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The Big Read: From Gaelic-only housing to second homes, the fight to save a language

26 December 2020 (The Herald)

Gaelic is in crisis. As a community language, it could die out within a decade.

That was the stark conclusion of a book-length study published in the summer.

But momentum is building to reverse this decline, and those at the top are open to radical proposals.

Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes told The Herald she would support the idea of housing developments reserved for Gaelic speakers.

She fears parts of the Highlands and islands could become retirement villages or ghost towns amid a rise in second homes.

Read more...

Euroquiz 2021

8 December 2020 (SEET)

Have you registered your teams for the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) Euroquiz competition? The annual project is open to all P6 pupils across Scotland, which sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world. Subjects covered include languages, history, geography, culture and European affairs. Heats take place in local authorities from January to March, with the winning teams from all areas progressing to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in June.

Visit the SEET website for more information and to register.

Read more...

Mathématiques sans Frontières

7 December 2020 (University of the West of Scotland)

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is again organising the world-wide Maths and Language competition “Mathématiques sans Frontières” in Scotland.

You are invited to participate in this stimulating and light-hearted competition which combines Mathematics and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in these subjects, promote teamwork, and bridge borders.

Please find attached a training test for “Mathématiques Sans Frontières”, and one entry form for the competition proper.

S4 classes should attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions. A whole class should attempt the test with questions divided up between groups to ensure that the questions can be completed in the allotted time of 90 minutes. Question one will require an explanation in a foreign language. We hope that this encourages cross-curricular working and teamwork. Answers are also attached, in French, another opportunity for teamwork in the translation.

The competition proper will be held on Thursday 11 March 2021. The prize-giving will be held in June (hopefully!) at UWS when the achievements of the top ten schools at each level are recognised. All schools competing will receive a certificate.

Schools who would like to register for the competition are kindly requested to complete the proforma attached and return by 29 January 2021.

We will send out the actual test as a PDF file by e-mail on the Friday prior to the test. This has proved to be very popular and we intend continuing to issue the test in this format. We would therefore kindly ask you to ensure that the e-mail address provided is legible or, preferably, typed. It would also be beneficial to provide an alternative e-mail address, possibly a personal address, which may help prevent firewall issues.

Related Files

Discovering China is back!

3 December 2020 (CISS)

Oral revision courses 2021

30 November 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is holding special online Revision Courses in January/February for pupils who are due to sit their Higher and Advanced Higher oral examinations in 2021.

Visit the website for more information and to book.

Read more...

Changes to Visiting Assessment Arrangements for National Qualifications

26 November 2020 (SQA)

SQA has reviewed its visiting assessment arrangements for Advanced Higher Gàidhlig performance-talking and Modern Languages performance-talking assessments in session 2020–21.

Visit the SQA website for more information.

Read more...

Spikkin Scots: Listen to the different dialects of Scotland with our interactive map

25 November 2020 (Press and Journal)

With voices changing every 20 miles, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how many dialects come under the Scots language umbrella.

But a rough count suggests lucky number 13, divided up as Orkney, Shetland, Caithness, Black Isle, Moray, Aberdeenshire, South Northern (South Kincardineshire and Northern Angus), North-East Central, East Central, West Central, South Central, Boarders and Ulster (yep, Scots made it over the water to Ireland too with Irish Gaelic).

Inverness and the Outer Hebrides may seem curiously absent from this list. But as these regions were predominantly Gaelic speaking areas, the Scots language didn’t take hold with the same intensity, meaning there’s no specific Scots dialect recorded for these regions – though we have included them on the map here for comparison.

The article also includes links to other features in the Spikkin Scots series.

Read more...

SEET's Our World project

24 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET's logo

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) have launched their annual Our World language learning and filmmaking project. With a specific focus on building a sense of gobal citizenship and cultural understanding amongst participants, the project asks S3-S6 pupils to create multilingual films based on topical issues. Teams of 4 have the chance to create their films at an online workshop with professional filmmakers on hand to provide assistance and practical filmmaking tuition. Films must include at least one language other than English, and should be based on, this year, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

If you are interested in entering a team or multiple teams, please sign up here and ensure your pupils send us a storyboard of their film idea by the revised deadline of January 15th, 2021. Tons more information available on SEET's website, or by emailing alex@seet.org.uk. We look forward to receiving entries!

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The Language Ambassadors

19 November 2020 (University of Strathclyde)

photo of the Language Ambassadors

The Language Ambassadors are back……and they have gone VIRTUAL!

Get your pupils involved to discover the joys of learning and being able to use another language by organising a Virtual Language Ambassadors visit to your school!

Our Language Ambassadors are students of French, Italian or Spanish, on various degrees, including BA Honours in French and Spanish, International Business and a Modern Language, Law and a Language but also Engineering and Science degrees.

This programme is free of charge and provides student role models to promote languages to young people and encourage your pupils to choose languages as part of their high school curriculum.

We can deliver a range of activities online, such as:

  • A virtual presentation about their experiences as university language learners and their experiences abroad;
  • Q&A sessions about the benefits of studying a language;
  • A small group discussion for Senior phase students who have already selected a language;
  • Micro-presentations as part of a school-wide event

From Harris to Hamilton, from Orkney to Paisley, book a virtual visit today by completing our request form!

If you have any questions about The Language Ambassadors programme, please contact Cédric Moreau.

Read more...

Fèis Rois launches new songwriting project for young Gaels passionate about the environment

18 November 2020 (The Herald)

Young Gaelic speakers who have a passion for the environment and a talent for songwriting could have their chance to shine, thanks to a new songwriting project launched by Highland arts organisation, Fèis Rois. 

The competition, which is open to applicants until November, Monday 23, is calling on budding Gaelic songwriters from secondary schools across the Highlands to come up with new Gaelic material, connected to the environment and Scotland's landscape. 

Fèis Rois, an arts organisation based in Dingwall, Ross-shire, has collaborated with NatureScot to launch 'Caithream na Cruinne', aimed at emerging Gaelic songwriters who take their inspiration from nature and the current environmental challenges. 

Read more...

Our World film making project

12 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET logo

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) have launched their annual Our World language learning and filmmaking project.

Open to all S3-6 pupils across Scotland, teams of 4 have the chance to create films at a workshop (remotely this year!) with professional filmmakers on hand to help them and provide practical filmmaking tuition. As always, films must include at least one language other than English, and should be based on a set theme, which this year is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

If you are interested in entering a team or multiple teams, please sign up here and ensure your pupils send us a storyboard of their film idea by the deadline of 18 December 2020.

There is lots more information available on SEET's website, or by emailing alex@seet.org.uk. We look forward to receiving entries!

Read more...

IDL and languages in primary: November Bitesize

11 November 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT's monthly Bitesize drop-ins are free, themed virtual events that are open to teachers and student teachers working in Scotland. Drop-ins are an opportunity to share your thoughts on that month’s Bitesize resource and/or share your own experience on the theme.

The November Bitesize event looks at examples of using an IDL approach to support language teaching and learning in the primary classroom.

Visit our Bitesize webpage to find out more about the session taking place on Wednesday 25 November and to register.

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SQA Modern Languages course reports

9 November 2020 (SQA)

Advanced Higher course reports for the 2019 diet have been added to the SQA website for Gaelic (Learners), German and Spanish.

Read more...

Edinburgh considers sites for Gaelic-language school

7 November 2020 (The Times)

Plans to create a dedicated Gaelic secondary school in Edinburgh have been boosted by a surge of interest from parents keen for their children to become immersed in the language.

Councillors have begun a consultation on where the facility should be located after committing to turning the project into a reality.

The Glasgow Gaelic School regularly outperforms every other secondary in the city, with half of sixth-years achieving five or more Highers. It is hoped that a new minority language school in the capital would mirror its success.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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National 5 Modern Languages - Guidance on gathering key evidence for producing estimates in session 2020–21

6 November 2020 (SQA)

The SQA has produced a document providing subject-level guidance to SQA approved centres on gathering key evidence to support estimates for National 5 Modern Languages in session 2020–21.

You should read this guidance alongside National Courses: guidance on gathering evidence and producing estimates and the SQA Academy resource, Quality assurance of estimates for National Courses (links are contained in the publication).

This document also includes information on subject-level assessment resources. Available now to view online.

Read more...

4 top tips for using Scots language in the classroom

30 October 2020 (TES)

Student Len Pennie – better known online as Miss Punny Pennie – has become an internet star with videos that share a Scots language word of the day. One of her most popular videos, in which she recites her poem I'm No Havin' Children (see below), has been viewed nearly 250,000 times on Twitter.

Here are her four top tips for using Scots in school.

(Subscription required to access full article).

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Bòrd na Gàidhlig calls on young people to help guide Gaelic into a new era

30 October 2020 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Gaelic organisations are asking young people across the country to stand up and be heard as Bòrd na Gàidhlig launch opportunities for their voices to be listened to. 
 
BnG will be running online surveys for young people based on their opinions and ideas for Gaelic usage and how to increase this within their communities. 
 
The two surveys, which will be distributed to schools and community groups, are for Primary 5-7, Secondary pupils S1-S6 and for school leavers. The surveys will run until 15 November as the Gaelic development body collates opinions critical to the future of the language and how young people can help contribute to this across Scotland. 

More information can be found on the attached press release or by visiting the Bòrd na Gàidhlig website.

Read more...

Related Files

Learn French with Alliance Française Glasgow

28 October 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow provides a range of language learning opportunities for adults and children. Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about forthcoming classes:

  • Free taster sessions (5 & 10 November) - If you have reservations about joining an online class, we are offering free taster sessions so you can find out all the necessary information on how our current classes are being run before enrolling for a course.
  • Adult classes (commencing 16 November) - Enrolling now for the next term.
  • l’heure du conte (10 November and 8 December) - Join us to hear our librarian’s historiettes/short stories, comfortably wrapped in a blanket at home with your little ones. Free and suitable for all.

Visit the Alliance Française Glasgow website to discover the full range of activities and events on offer. 

Read more...

Book Week Scotland 2020

28 October 2020 (Scottish Book Trust)

Book Week Scotland is an annual celebration of books and reading, supported by Creative Scotland and SLIC. This year's Book Week Scotland will be taking place from 16 to 22 November 2020.

The programme of events is now available. All are taking place online and whilst most are free to attend, the events are ticketed so make sure you book in advance.

As always, there's a selection of readings and events which will appeal to linguists. This year's collection of stories and poems on the subject of Future contains entries in Scots and Gaelic and the e-book is now available to download. For younger learners you can always access the Authors on Demand session exploring The Gruffalo in Scots and Gaelic.

Read more...

New drive to bring Arabic into Scottish schools

27 October 2020 (TES)

A new initiative aims to bring the teaching of Arabic into both primary and secondary schools in Scotland.

This week the Scottish primaries involved in a new programme offering an insight into Arabic language and culture will receive boxes of Arabic artefacts, such as books, scarves, musical instruments and tea sets.

Scottish schools are open but movement in and out of buildings remains restricted as a result of Covid-19. Scilt, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, has, however, found a way to bring the wider world to pupils at a time when their ability to travel is also much reduced.

The centre, based at the University of Strathclyde, is offering an insight into Arabic language and culture in 15 primary and secondary schools around Scotland. The courses include online lessons from native-speaking teachers of Arabic in the UK and link-ups with native Arabic speakers overseas.

The centre was keen to make the experience tangible, hence the delivery of the boxes.

Scilt director Fhiona Mackay says: “It’s really important that we encourage diversity in language learning. That’s what the 1+2 approach to language learning [in Scotland] should be all about – particularly language three should be an opportunity to explore languages that otherwise children would not be exposed to. It is absolutely right that they should have the chance to experience a language that does not have the same script or alphabet as Latin or Germanic-based languages.

“We also wanted to make sure that children were getting a view of the Arabic world that was not about war, terrorism or refugees. We wanted them to see there is something quite wonderful about this ancient civilisation and help them relate that back to their own experience in Scotland.”

The courses offer learners the chance to explore the secular culture of Arabic nations and to receive a grounding in the Arabic language, which is a first language in more than 20 countries and the fifth most widely spoken in the world.

Read more...

Learning in Gaelic helps improve English

26 October 2020 (The Herald)

It is the secret to learning good English – go to a Gaelic school.

Research has shown that learning in a minority language makes you better at speaking a global one.

Scientists have long known that being bilingual in two major languages – such as Spanish and French or German and Russian – helps develop cognitive abilities.

A study led by Heriot-Watt associate professor Maria Garraffa has now compared the English of monolingual children with those who were immersed in Gaelic Medium Education (GME).

Ms Garraffa, a native Italian, and her team found the GME youngsters outperformed those taught in English – in English.

Writing in the Times Educational Supplement, Ms Garraffa said: “The research revealed that speaking Gaelic does not affect the ability to speak well in English and that being bilingual actually improves competency. We found bilingual pupils are better in complex language in English and also have better concentration, as reported in other studies on bilingualism.

“We clearly proved the positive effects of bilingualism are not contingent upon learning a global, widely spoken language, like French or Spanish, but are also true when it comes to a small heritage language like Gaelic.”

Read more...

Gaelic language expected to die out in a decade, but can it be saved?

23 October 2020 (Channel 5 News)

Scottish Gaelic is a language which is set to die out in the next decade. The University of the Highlands and Islands says only 11,000 people can speak it, most over the age of 50. So how can it be saved?

See the Channel 5 video report on YouTube.

Read more...

BSL:  New case study alert!

23 October 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce the publication of its new case study on engaging parents with languages. This study, in conjunction with Education Scotland, highlights how Moorfoot Primary and Garvel Deaf Centre in Gourock support parents of deaf and hearing children with learning BSL. It provides insightful information on how BSL features greatly within the school, in addition to the other languages taught. Parents, pupils and staff share their experience of using and learning BSL and emphasise the value, significance and importance of all language learning and the impact it can have locally and beyond.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland - save the date!

23 October 2020 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce that Languages Week Scotland 2021 will run from 1 - 5 February 2021. The theme is "Celebrating Scotland’s languages landscape" and we hope that schools and learners, universities and colleges, businesses and social enterprises, community and arts organisations across the country will join with us in celebrating the many languages learned and spoken in Scotland!

Follow the hashtag #scotlandloveslanguages for all the latest news, and don't forget to use this hashtag to share how you celebrate.

Scottish pupils among top performers in new Pisa test

22 October 2020 (TES)

Recent Pisa results have brought bad news for Scotland but a new test suggests students are being well equipped to deal with globalisation.

Scottish pupils are among the most likely in the developed world to understand and appreciate the perspective of others, demonstrate some of the most positive attitudes towards immigrants, and score highly on a test that assesses the ability to evaluate information and analyse multiple perspectives.

Students from 27 countries and economies, including Scotland, took part in Pisa’s 2018 assessment of global competence, which included a test focusing on three areas: the ability to evaluate information, formulate arguments and explain issues and situations; to identify and analyse multiple perspectives; and to evaluate actions and consequences.

[..] Dr Tarek Mostafa, the policy analyst in the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills who was in charge of the global competence report, told Tes Scotland: “The main takeaway messages from the report are: students in Scotland have very positive attitudes towards immigrants and when it comes to respect for people from other cultures. In addition to this, they perform well on the global competence cognitive test and Scotland is among the three top-ranking countries on the test.”

[..] “For the other indices, students report values close to the OECD average,” he added.

Scottish pupils were also among the least likely to speak several languages: 64.5 per cent of Scottish pupils said they did not learn foreign languages at school, which was around five times the OECD average of 11.7 per cent.  

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

Secondary school Gaelic immersion study reports positive effects of bilingualism on language and cognition

20 October 2020 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

A ground-breaking study into how Gaelic is perceived by secondary school pupils and how it develops their linguistic and cognitive skills found significant benefits of speaking the language alongside a global language such as English.

The immersion study, funded by Bord na Gàidhlig, was led by Dr Maria Garraffa and a team from Heriot-Watt University, together with Prof Bernadette O’Rourke from University of Glasgow and Prof Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh.

They worked together with senior pupils from The Glasgow Gaelic School, the largest provider of Gaelic medium education in Scotland, to find out how our younger generation of Gaelic speakers view and use the language. It examined for the first time particularly whether older teenagers, after 15 years of education in Gaelic, continued to speak Gaelic or what might lead them to stop.

The research revealed that speaking Gaelic does not affect the ability to speak well in English – and that being bilingual provides more opportunities for those fluent in both.

Read more...

Tutoring sessions - Higher French & Advanced Higher Spanish

19 October 2020 (Language Learning Scotland)

Language Learning Scotland has added free drop-in tutoring sessions for Higher French and Advanced Higher Spanish to their offering. Open to S5/S6 students these sessions begin week commencing 19 October 2020.

Visit the website to find out more and to sign up. 

Read more...

The Glasgow teacher who has led Gaelic education surge

18 October 2020 (The Herald)

The head teacher who has overseen a surge in demand for Gaelic Medium Education in Glasgow has said her own childhood experience of English-only lessons as a native speaker fuelled efforts to improve access to the language in schools.

Donalda McComb will now say “Beannach Leibh” to teaching after 34 years and heading up the city’s first joint campus, which combines a nursery, primary and secondary that was ranked ninth best performing high in this year’s league tables.

Glasgow is home to the largest number of Gaelic speakers outwith the Highlands and Islands, a mix of native speakers who move for university or jobs and those coming through Gaelic medium education (GME) or learning independently. 

Read more...

Edinburgh Napier is third university in Scotland to cut their foreign language programme

5 October 2020 (Edinburgh Evening News)

Deeming their language courses as “economically unsustainable”, Napier will terminate the teaching of French, Spanish and German from the beginning of the next academic year.

The announcement comes amid warnings of an “intellectual Brexit” in higher education and a drastic cut in income to higher education institutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic..

The changes will see Napier follow in the footsteps of fellow Edinburgh-based University, Heriot Watt, who are to launch an external review of their language programmes, despite their Scotland-leading position in translation. Meanwhile, Dundee University announced it will drop its German programmes.

Read more...

Class acts: three lockdown teaching stars discuss being back in school

3 October 2020 (The Guardian)

Staff who made headlines for their dedication during closures talk about the joy of reuniting with pupils and the impact of more restrictions.

[..] When James Innes, AKA the “Joe Wicks for French”, made the decision to share videos of his French lessons online over lockdown, he had no idea that he would return to his school a YouTube sensation.

Read more...

'Teachers key to development of Gaelic language in Scotland' claim as new three-year plan unveiled

2 October 2020 (Ross-shire Journal)

The vital role of teachers in the promotion of the Gaelic language in Scotland is acknowledged in a new three-year plan.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) has launched its revised Gaelic Language Plan.

The plan sets out four key commitments:

  • To raise awareness of Gaelic as a language and to support its use through integrated communications.
  • To support the development of learning and teaching in Gaelic throughout Scotland.
  • To encourage growth of the Gaelic language both within GTC Scotland and externally.
  • To promote and support teacher professional development in the Gaelic language.

It complements the National Gaelic Language Plan which aims to promote the language and culture in Scotland. It outlines the need to explore new routes to promote, recruit, educate and retain the Gaelic education workforce and review existing routes into the profession.

And it acknowledges the role GTC Scotland has to play in addressing these challenges.

Read more...

Related Links

New plan to promote Gaelic revealed (The Northern Times, 3 October 2020)

 

Autumn immersion week

1 October 2020 (Language Learning Scotland)

Calling all S5 and S6 Modern Languages students studying French, German Spanish and Mandarin. From 12-16 October 2020, Language Learning Scotland is running a virtual language immersion week. Come along to learn more about the culture, the course and so much more!

Meet like-minded language lovers and hear talks from native young people and industry professionals. Get help and advice on navigating your way through Higher and Advanced Higher with tips for memorising grammar and vocabulary.

Visit the LLS website for more information and to apply. 

Read more...

eSgoil study support webinars

1 October 2020 (eSgoil/SCILT)

SCILT is proud to partner with colleagues at e-Sgoil in order to offer additional support to sixth year language learners.

Free live webinar lessons for young people studying Advanced Higher French and Spanish are available on line for eight weeks from the beginning of November.

Advanced Higher Spanish

Wednesdays 5 pm from 4 November 2020

Advanced Higher French

Thursdays 5 pm from 5 November 2020

Going by the response to previous live-streamed lessons, interest is likely to be high.  Please encourage young people to sign up as quickly as possible to guarantee their place. They will need their pupil Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number to register.

More information and the registration link can be found on the eSgoil website.

Read more...

MTOT is back!

1 October 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce the launch of Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2020-21!  This exciting competition is now open, and we want to find the next generation of young multilingual poets in Scotland. The competition has been redesigned to suit our new digital era, and we are inviting young people to submit entries focussing on the spoken word.  Videos, sound files, voiceovers, narrated presentations – whatever format fits best, we want to hear the voices of young linguists showcasing their language and poetry skills. It’s a great time to get involved with the creative side of language learning, so visit our MTOT webpages to find out more.

Read more...

Misneachd: Gaelic campaign group launches radical manifesto ahead of Holyrood election

30 September 2020 (The Herald)

A Gaelic campaign group has published a new manifesto urging Scotland’s political parties to embrace radical measures to reverse the decline of the language.

Misneachd is calling for controls on second homes and consideration of Gaelic-speaking housing developments alongside a raft of other proposals.

It said a new government-backed target should aim for all those living in the Western Isles to be able to speak at least some Gaelic.

Read more...

Alive and kicking: From Billy Connolly to Robert Burns – author Robin Crawford says the Scots tongue is alive & well

30 September 2020 (The Scottish Sun)

Author Robin Crawford has charted 1,000 uniquely Scots words that have been used from the era of Robert Burns to the modern world of Twitter.

The 56-year-old, from Auchtermuchty, Fife, wanted to record both old and new language that is still in everyday use for his new book Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers.

And he also set out to highlight the different regional phrases used around Scotland.

He said: “Many people use the word ‘rovies’ for slippers whereas in Fife I would say ‘baffies’. But every  region,  in fact probably every family, has their own words. That’s what helps make Scots so vibrant.

“We may all be Jock Tamson’s Bairns but we don’t necessarily speak the same words.”

Robin also believes  the phrases of The Big Yin are just as important as the verse of The Bard.

Read more...

Why it’s great Scotland is bucking the trend on learning languages

26 September 2020 (The National)

In a report entitled Breaking the Language Barrier, published by Reform Scotland in October 2018, it is noted that the UK Government estimates poor language skills cost the economy £48 billion annually, equivalent to 3.5% of GDP. While Anglophone countries often dismiss other languages, Scotland is demonstrating an appetite to turn the tide.

The flagship for change is the Scottish Government’s 1+2 policy, launched in 2012, providing children with the opportunity to learn a first additional language from primary one and a second from primary five. Seven years later, the 1+2 generation is now starting secondary school.

There are already encouraging signs at Higher level, where, according to recent research by Dr Hannah Doughty on trends over a seven-year period, languages as a whole enjoy a higher percentage uptake than biology or physics.

Further encouragement comes from Holyrood. Ivan McKee, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, recently stated that: “It is essential we inspire young people to learn languages, to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to take full advantage of opportunities in our fast-changing world.”

Crucial here is that McKee mentions “skills”. Languages are not simply about the ability to move between tongues, mechanically expressing information and ideas. Arguably the greatest benefit from the study of languages lies not in their mastery, but in other skills acquired on the journey.

Read more...

Doric Film Festival set to return

25 September 2020 (Scots Radio)

Plans have been unveiled for the return of the acclaimed Doric Film Festival – with some exciting developments set to be implemented for the second event.

Following the runaway success of the first two Doric Film Festivals, the second annual event is now inviting entries until November 1st and is asking applications to create a film around the theme: “Jist Faar I Bide.”

This time around, a total of nine awards will be spread equally across three categories, namely individuals, schools and community groups.  Each will receive £500 towards the cost of producing a five-minute film which will be screened during an online event in spring 2021.

The much-lauded Doric Film Festival, which is supported by the Scottish Government, took the North East by storm during its inaugural event in 2019. It is the idea of award-winning Scots Radio Director Frieda Morrison who created the unique platform to celebrate the Doric language and its cultural identity. 

Commenting on plans for this year’s Doric Film Festival, Frieda Morrison said: “Ongoing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have prompted a change of format for this event, and we hope that the changes will encourage even more people to get even more creative in support of the Festival.

“In previous years we have been heartened by the quality and diversity of entries and we are sure that the judges have a hard task ahead of them again this year.”

To find out more, visit www.doricfilmfestival.com or www.scotsradio.com

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Our World film making project

17 September 2020 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based film making project for S3 - S6 pupils. It's designed to complement the Curriculum for Excellence and help tackle the Attainment Challenge by providing a free project, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Apply now to take part in the 2020-21 project. 

Visit the SEET Our World webpage for more information.

Read more...

All the World is Our Stage: Primary Pupils Never Lost in Translanguaging

14 September 2020 (Creative Multilingualism)

This OWRI-funded project celebrates linguistic diversity and reflects on the multilingual, multicultural and superdiverse society represented in Glasgow today. This multilingual performance supports the teaching and learning journey of primary schooling in non-affluent areas of the city. Pupils work together to choose traditional songs and rhymes and script a multilingual play.

Recordings of a webinar series about the project and associated resources are now available on the Creative Multilingualism website. An article about the project can also be found in TECLA Issue 1/2020 (page 11), the magazine resource for Spanish language learning in the classroom.

Read more...

Oh fit fine! University set to launch its first Doric course

13 September 2020 (The Scotsman)

Doric, a form of North East Scots that is spoken by 49 per cent of people in Aberdeenshire, will now be taught to undergraduates at Aberdeen University with the course counting towards a student’s degree.

The history of Doric is due to be taught on the course, as well as linguistics, vocabulary and its context in a European setting, with many words and phrases linking Doric with Scandinavian languages, said Dr Thomas McKean, director of Aberdeen University’s Elphinstone Institute which researches and protects the North East’s distinct cultural heritage.

He said: “It’s about building a parity of esteem of the language so that it is thought of in equal terms with other European languages."

Read more...

e-Sgoil Study Support Webinars

11 September 2020 (e-Sgoil)

Young people from across Scotland are participating in a series of live study support webinar lessons being delivered by e-Sgoil. 

Building on the success of the e-Sgoil ‘lockdown’ offer - where over 3,000 young people from across the country participated in real-time e-Sgoil lessons from their homes - the package of study support seeks to complement the work being done by schools by providing free, live, interactive webinar lessons in an extensive range of courses at Level 5 (National 5) and Level 6 (Higher). 

Twenty courses are currently on offer in the evenings, in a range of subjects including French, Gaelic, Gaidhlig, Mandarin, Spanish, Business Management, Chemistry, Computing Science, Eachdraidh, English, History, Maths, Music, Physics and RMPS. 

e-Sgoil Study Support live webinar lessons are scheduled to run for a period of eight weeks in the first instance and employ a ‘flipped’ learning approach, where participants undertake prior learning using supplied resources before attending the real-time 45-minute webinar lesson, hosted in Glow. All e-Sgoil live webinar lessons are delivered by subject specialists and are scheduled after school in the evening.  

Angus Mclennan, Head Teacher of e-Sgoil commented:
“e-Sgoil is delighted to offer Senior Phase pupils from across Scotland the opportunity to participate in a wide-range of live webinar lessons that will reinforce school-based learning. Each webinar lesson is a stand-alone learning experience, so new participants are welcome to sign-up to join future sessions”. 

Young people can sign-up directly by simply accessing the e-Sgoil Study Support registration form at www.e-sgoil.com

(Pupil Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) are required as part of the registration process). 

Nominations open for Scots Language Awards 2020

11 September 2020 (Scots Language Awards)

Celebrate Scots culture and language with the nation’s favourite icons at the 2020 Scots Language Awards online on Saturday 24 October at 8pm.

Awards will be presented in 11 categories. Visit the website for more information and to submit your nominations.

Read more...

CLPL on a theme: bitesize and drop-in professional learning each month

4 September 2020 (SCILT)

From September 2020 to March 2021 the SCILT Professional Development Officers are scheduling a series of themed on-demand and live professional learning that will be open to all in-service and student teachers in Scotland. 

Some months, the theme will be applicable to both primary and secondary teachers, in other months the theme will be sector specific.   

Around the middle of the month, we will post a film or a piece of reading (c.15 minutes) on the SCILT website. Registration will open for the live drop-in on the same theme. 

At the end of the month, the PDO team will host a live drop-in to discuss the bitesize stimulus and the theme in general. The session will last 45 minutes and will feature examples of current practice. Registration is free and open to all teachers and student teachers in Scotland. 

Interested?   

In September we’re kicking off with a theme that’s relevant to both secondary and primary teachers. 

Lessons from lockdown: A look at how our learning and teaching of languages has evolved through the experiences of lockdown. Let’s share our experiences of delivering language education in innovative ways during an unprecedented situation. What works well? What doesn’t? What can we continue to use in post-lockdown practice? Are there methods that actually work better for the “new normal”? 

Watch out for the release of our Lessons from lockdown bitesize film. You’ll be able to watch on demand on the SCILT website from Friday 18 September. 

At the same time, you will be able to register to join the drop-in session at 4pm on Wednesday 30 September. There will be separate drop-ins on the same theme for primary and for secondary teachers or ITE students. 

What’s next?  Themes will be revealed in the first e-bulletin of the month, so you’ll get all the latest details straight to your inbox. 

If you do join in either live or on-demand, you can keep the professional learning conversation going on social media by following and using the hashtags #SCILT_CLPL #SCILT_bitesize #SCILT_dropin.  We are looking forward to connecting with lots of you through this new (to us) approach to professional learning in the coming months. 

CLPL on a theme: bitesize and drop-in professional learning each month

28 August 2020 (SCILT)

From September 2020 to March 2021 the SCILT Professional Development Officers are scheduling a series of themed on-demand and live professional learning that will be open to all in-service and student teachers in Scotland. 

Some months, the theme will be applicable to both primary and secondary teachers, in other months the theme will be sector specific.   

Around the middle of the month, we will post a film or a piece of reading (c.15 minutes) on the SCILT website. Registration will open for the live drop-in on the same theme. 

At the end of the month, the PDO team will host a live drop-in to discuss the bitesize stimulus and the theme in general. The session will last 45 minutes and will feature examples of current practice. Registration is free and open to all teachers and student teachers in Scotland. 

Sound interesting? Themes will be revealed in the first e-bulletin of the month, so you’ll get all the latest details straight to your inbox. We will be revealing our first theme for September in next week’s e-bulletin. 

We are looking forward to connecting with lots of you through this new (to us) approach to professional learning in the coming months. 

Virtual after school programme

26 August 2020 (LFEE)

LFEE Europe has created a virtual after school programme (VASCO programme) to offer live language sessions in French and Spanish for primary pupils.

For more information, see the attached flyer.

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) - School Programme October 2020

24 August 2020 (Consejería de Educación)

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is back for its seventh edition and it includes a School Programme aimed at Spanish learning students (6, 7 and 8 October). 

Due to COVID-19, the regular format has changed to an Online Event: the film will be available for  48 hours. The way this would work would be through a link sent to teachers, allowing them access to watch the films in class within a set time. In this edition, the School Programme films are ‘Los Futbolísimos’ (P7-S2) and ‘Una vez más’ for (S3-S6). 

This programme for Spanish students gives them the opportunity to better their language skills as well as cultural awareness. ESFF has also prepared a set of post-film activities available for students to delve more deeply into films and practice vocabulary. 

Tickets £25 per class. For tickets reservations and further information, please contact info.esff@ed.ac.uk 

How technology kept Scotland's Gaelic-speaking community connected during lockdown

19 August 2020 (The Herald)

With lockdown cutting us off physically from the communities around us, technology has been a vital tool for keeping connected.

This was particularly true for Scotland’s Gaelic-speaking community, with some pioneering young people using online methods to keep the language alive - and its community of speakers connected.

Calum Ferguson, 25, and Donnie Forbes, 23, decided to team up to combine their passion for Gaelic with a love of football. During lockdown, they created YouTube videos that challenged youngsters to practice football tricks while speaking Gaelic phrases.

“If I film myself passing a ball while saying the phrase ‘pass the ball’ in Gaelic, kids eventually put two and two together and learn the language that way,” explains Donnie. “People are seeing us deliver the action, say the action at the same time- that helps the language click.”

“People learn languages in different ways,” adds Calum. “Some will learn by sitting down and reading a textbook, some by speaking it, but others might find that visual learning is best. What we feel is important is giving as many resources as you can to people, to offer plenty of opportunities to speak the language.”

Read more...

Heriot-Watt’s search for £9m cuts puts university’s languages department at risk

6 August 2020 (The Times)

A Scottish university is reviewing the future of its entire foreign languages department as it looks at how to cut its wage bill by £9 million over two years.

Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, widely seen as Scotland’s centre of excellence for translation studies, has commissioned an external review into French, German, Spanish and Chinese classes.

Read more...

Survey - Resources to support SQA Modern Languages

28 July 2020 (Hodder Gibson)

Publishers, Hodder Gibson, are keen to commission new resources to support Modern Languages departments at National 3-5 and would be grateful to hear directly from teachers to establish what they would find useful.

Please help by taking part in the research survey. It will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Read more...

Coronavirus: French teacher's Hebridean lockdown

9 June 2020 (BBC)

A French language assistant who remained in the Western Isles during the coronavirus lockdown has been praised for the unique contribution she has made to young people's education.

Mathilde Forgerit arrived in Lewis last August for what was her first experience of teaching French abroad.

During the pandemic she has been able to use the islands' digital learning facilities to deliver classes to young people in other parts of Scotland too.

She said that despite being far from her family, the kindness of islanders stopped her from feeling isolated.

[..] Mathilde returned home to France last week, but the comhairle said she had left behind a positive language learning legacy across island schools.

Senior education officer Mary Clare Ferguson said: "She proved to be such an asset and a natural teacher.

"The pupils loved working with her and gained so much insight from a young person about her life in France, her culture and language. She really motivated them to improve their language skills."

Read more...

Connecting Classrooms - Learning for sustainability

26 May 2020 (Learning for Sustainability Scotland)

Get funding to collaborate locally and internationally on the big issues that shape our world.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning is here to help you bring Learning for Sustainability and the Global Goals to life for your learners! There are a host of learning opportunities and support on offer through the Connecting Classrooms programme. Whether you are looking for personal development opportunities, or want to collaborate with other schools.

Visit the website to find out more. Next funding application deadline is 15 June 2020.

Read more...

Scotland Learns - Gaelic medium resources

21 May 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has created a new portal, Scotland Learns, to help practitioners and parents support children's home learning during school closures.

This week on Scotland Learns the team has added a range of learning activities for parents and carers whose children learn through the medium of Gaelic. Learning activities are also available in English to support parents and carers who may not speak Gaelic. 

Read more...

SCILT's COVID response: Live streamed classes

7 May 2020 (SCILT)

This Monday (4 May) saw the launch of the first week of language classes, courtesy of our partnership with e-Sgoil. Demand was far greater than anticipated and despite some issues with registration, valid email addresses and technical challenges, hundreds of youngsters from P1 to Advanced Higher took part in a range of interesting classes. We have now had to stop taking new registrations for BGE and senior phase classes in French and Spanish and Give it a Go Italian as classes are full. Spaces are still available for NQ classes in Gaelic, German, Italian and Mandarin. For secondary pupils who would like to try something new, there are some places available on "Discovering the Arabic World". This gives the opportunity to learn a language that is less frequently taught in schools and explore the fascinating cultures of Arabic speaking countries. Spaces are limited and are allocated on a first come basis.  

See the attached timetable with links to enrol.

Related Files

PGDE: Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Gaelic medium)

7 May 2020 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

If you already have a degree and are interested in teaching through the medium of Gaelic, this a post-graduate diploma in teaching could be the ideal opportunity for you.

Offered by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands network, the one year distance learning course is available in pathways for primary and secondary education. 

Visit the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig website for more information.

Read more...

Education Scotland News Digest

24 April 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest news digest is now available to view online. This edition includes resources available to support schools and parents during closures, information about new Gaelic Bookbug stories and the Young Scots Writer of the Year Competition.

Read more...

Guidance for home learning

20 April 2020 (Scottish Government)

New guidance to support the home learning of children and young people during the new term has been issued.

It aims to build on the significant amount of positive work that has already been undertaken by teachers and education professionals across Scotland to support learning at home, as well as the advice and resources that are already available.

The guidance covers three main areas:

  • learning and teaching at home: this includes support for digital learning; children who are likely to be disproportionately impacted; and learners with additional support needs
  • parental involvement and engagement: this includes details of local and national support and how local authorities/schools will require a different approach to being updated on a child’s development
  • support for teachers and school leaders: including advice on learning resources; supporting pupils’ and staff health and wellbeing; and on leading colleagues and teams during this period

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information.

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More Gaelic TV from BBC Alba to help pupils in lockdown

14 April 2020 (The National)

Gaelic broadcasting bosses are to show more children’s content to support young speakers while schools are off.

Extra programmes on science, maths and other curriculum mainstays will be shown on BBC Alba from today.

The Gaelic-medium channel already runs children’s shows from 5pm-7pm every day. Additional content will also be available on the BBC iPlayer.

It is hoped that “children won’t even realise they are learning and developing their skills” when watching the tailored material.

Margaret Mary Murray, head of service at BBC Alba, said: “We hope these fabulous learning programmes will offer useful support to teachers, parents and carers and fun learning opportunities for children.”

Read more...

Coronavirus: ‘Pupils need live online teaching’

13 April 2020 (TESS)

Scotland’s e-Sgoil – based in the Western Isles – has revealed its plans to deliver a national timetable of live lessons that will be streamed online in a bid to support teachers and pupils in the wake of the UK wide school closures, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking exclusively to Tes Scotland the e-Sgoil – which has four years’ experience in beaming lessons into schools across the country – said it was hoping to partner with online learning platform Scholar in order to deliver live national qualification lessons in a wide range of subjects, as well as offering some lessons aimed at primary pupils.

Scholar – a partnership between Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and education directors’ association Ades – runs online courses in a range of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher subjects, providing pupils with learning materials and assessments.

Meanwhile e-Sgoil – which was set up to ensure equal access to courses and subjects for pupils irrespective of where they live – has a team of teachers on its books who have experience of delivering remote lessons in real time in everything from Higher physics, to primary Gaelic. This year it has had a presence in 15 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

The plan is to start streaming the lessons incrementally, beginning with maths and languages – thanks to Scotland's National Centre for Languages (Scilt), and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools.

Together the languages bodies and e-Sgoil plan to offer taster courses in Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Gaelic and Mandarin suitable for primary and secondary pupils, as well as delivering national qualification courses in French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Gaelic.

Read more...

SCEN surveys

31 March 2020 (SCEN)

SCEN has drawn up two short surveys, one to gather information ahead of our website revamp, and another to gather information on people's experience with our events and ambassador programme. 

Together, they take under ten minutes to fill out, and would be a great help to us in gaining a better understanding how we can improve our engagement and communication. 

If you could please complete the surveys from the two links below, and share them with any peers, colleagues, students, or friends you know have an interest in or affiliation with SCEN, it would be much appreciated.

We ask that you please complete the surveys by Monday the 20th of April, so that we can act on the data gathered as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your participation. 

SCEN Website Survey - 3 Minutes to Complete
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KD7CH37

SCEN Events and Ambassadors Survey - 4 Minutes to Complete
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KQJCNQD

Read more...

Online beginner Mandarin classes

30 March 2020 (CISS)

banner advertising upcoming online Mandarin beginner classes

Related Files

Mathématiques sans Frontières 2020

26 March 2020 (UWS)

Announcement from Alan Walker, University of the West of Scotland:

Due to the current pandemic, we've had to make a big change to the marking of the entries this year, and unfortunately we won't be able to hold our annual prize-giving. However, the overall winner of the Scottish side of the competition will still be offered a prize, and certificates to all schools who entered will be made available (once I can get back into my office).

With regards to the Top 10 teams of each competition, I'll release these over Twitter, in a countdown over the next couple of weeks. If you (or your school/department) don't already follow the MSF twitter account, please do so at https://twitter.com/MSF_Scotland.

For those of you not on Twitter, I'll email the Top 10s after announcing, and will be in touch with the winners directly.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting this competition each year. Thanks also to those who volunteer to mark each year (even though they got a year off this year!). A big thanks too to my colleagues Wan and Ken for their help in putting the questions together for the Scottish side of the competition.

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme 2020 - **CANCELLED**

26 March 2020 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

Unfortunately, due to the current uncertainty relating to COVID-19, it has been decided with careful consideration to cancel the Summer School this year.
SCILT and Education Scotland will continue to work closely and plan for next summer 2021. Further updates will be communicated in due course.

SCILT and Education Scotland's flagship national leadership programme has been running since 2014 and was recognised at GTCS Excellence in Professional Learning Awards in 2017 and 2018.

Read more...

Supporting online learning - links for practitioners

25 March 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has compiled resources and links which are intended to support practitioners in developing online opportunities for learning at home. There are resources for all areas of the curriculum which will be supplemented as time goes on. See the Supporting Online Learning webpage on the Education Scotland website.

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COVID-19: SCILT and CISS update

24 March 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

Given last week's announcement about the cancellation of the exam diet, the SCILT and CISS teams are refocusing their efforts on supporting the BGE. Officers are currently collating high quality, freely available, online materials into an easily accessible section of the SCILT website. Teachers, parents and youngsters  will be able, therefore, to find interesting resources and activities in a range of languages, appropriate to their age and stage, all in one place. As you can imagine, this is a huge task, but we are determined to have it completed by mid-April. 

In addition, we are currently in discussion with our friends at e-Sgoil so we can provide live streamed classes in Mandarin suitable for beginners in both primary and secondary school stages of the BGE. More news about this and other language learning opportunities via e-Sgoil will be announced nearer the time. 

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Young Scots Writer of the Year Competition 2020

16 March 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has a fantastic competition for young people aged 11-18 to write a poem, a play, or a song in Scots Language. The competition is run in partnership with Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Government, Scots Hoose and Hands up for Trad.

Visit the competition website for more details and submit entries by Wednesday 24 June 2020.

Read more...

SQA Markers

12 March 2020 (SQA)

The SQA is currently recruiting for new markers who would like to be considered for a marking team for 2020.

A Marker marks candidates’ work in line with detailed marking instructions and in accordance with SQA policy and procedures. The prime role is to ensure consistent application of national standards when marking candidate submission(s).

Applications which meet the selection criteria will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Thereafter applications will be reserved for future opportunities in marking in your selected subject.

Visit the SQA website for more information and submit your application by 27 March 2020.

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Gaelic theatre company Theatre Gu Leor tackle loss of land and language in new show Maim

9 March 2020 (The Scotsman)

One of the great strengths of Gaelic culture in Scotland is that it cares not at all for the traditional distinctions between art forms; in the Gaelic-speaking world, music, song and theatre tend to appear as aspects of the same mighty storytelling tradition. 

[..] “Maim is a Gaelic word that means panic, terror, consternation or alarm,” explains Muireann Kelly, after a week of rehearsals at the National Theatre of Scotland’s Glasgow base, “and there’s no doubt that we want this show to confront some huge and frightening issues we all face now. It’s about the continuing decline of native Gaelic language and culture in the islands, despite more people learning the language in the central belt of Scotland; and it’s also about the threat posed to traditional Hebridean and West Highland landscapes by climate change, as the sea rises into the machair.

[..] The only way you can really protect a language and culture is make new things out of it, to make it part of the present and future as well as the past; and that’s what we try to do.

[..] See Maim in Glasgow, Edinburgh and on tour to Inverness, Aberdeen, Oban and across the islands until 28 March.

Read more...

Vacancy: Professional Development Officer

3 March 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) requires a Professional Development Officer to support the network of Scotland’s Confucius classrooms and the learning and teaching of languages across Scotland. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland. The successful candidate will be part of the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools team based within SCILT as the Ramshorn building in Glasgow’s city centre. The centre leads 44 Confucius classrooms across Scotland, including secondary, primary and specialist classrooms.

The Professional Development Officer will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures to develop the learning and teaching of Mandarin in Scottish schools and communities. This would include, for example, leading professional learning workshops and managing projects such as national awards/competitions and other promotional events.

The post holder will support practitioners to turn policy into practice in order to create a positive impact on learners. This will be based on identification of practitioners’ needs, with particular reference to the place of Mandarin and languages in general, within the National Improvement Framework and the Scottish curriculum. The post holder would, therefore, need extensive experience of leading recent initiatives that promote and support language learning.

Please note, the successful candidate need not be a fluent Mandarin speaker.

Visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy portal for full details about the post and to apply by 22 March 2020.

Read more...

Francophone culture teaching and learning materials

2 March 2020 (University of Stirling)

An English and French fourth-year student at the University of Stirling is carrying out research for her final year dissertation on the representation of the francophone cultures in the French language learning materials of S1/S2 and S5/S6 and the role of culture teaching in French language classes. For this investigation, she has prepared an interview for secondary French teachers asking about the French language learning materials they use in class, the way they teach culture and the cultural aspects that they teach.

If you would like to support her research, please complete the questionnaire.

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Gaelic CLPL Opportunity - Streap: Postgraduate Certificate in Gaelic Medium Education

24 February 2020 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

The fully funded Postgraduate Certificate in Gaelic Medium Education (Streap) is a Master’s Level qualification of 60 credits at SCQF Level 11. 

The programme is aimed at Gaelic speaking GTCS registered teachers (nursery, primary or secondary) who are seeking Gaelic medium education CLPL, or those who are currently in English medium education and who wish to further develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in order to teach in Gaelic medium education. 

Visit the website for more information and apply now for September 2020 start.

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Skye's the limit at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig - a unique Gaelic-only college set in a stunning island location

24 February 2020 (The Herald)

As global interest in Gaelic grows, students from across the world are travelling to Skye to study at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture.

Situated in the stunningly beautiful peninsula of Sleat in the south end of the island, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is a unique Gaelic-only environment and the only college of its kind offering further and higher education through the medium of the language.

The college offers a range of provision from beginners’ courses to a PhD, with the flexibility of studying part-time or full-time, on campus or via distance learning. At a crucial time in the survival of the language, graduates have helped create a Gaelic speaking workforce that now holds key posts across a wide range of sectors in Scotland.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is one of the key partners in fulfilling the government’s objectives in the National Gaelic Plan, which aims to increase the number of people speaking the language and accelerate the growth of Gaelic.

Many people are keen to learn more about the language because of its rich culture and the college provides a wide range of short courses in Gaelic language, song and traditional music. Ceilidhs, workshops, conversation circles and music sessions all create an encouraging atmosphere that bring together students from 30 countries across five continents. 

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Cuts to teacher subject advisers could explain declining exam results

23 February 2020 (Brinkwire)

Cuts to subject specialists, advisers and teacher support networks may be the cause of falling exam results, according to a new report.

An analysis of the falling exam pass rates, published on Thursday evening by the Scottish Government, also cites an growing gap in attainment between the richest and poorest pupils in the country.

Bridging that gap, as well as improving education standards, has long been a key priority for the Scottish Government, which critics now argue they have failed on.

Last night, trade unions and experts spoke out about the contents of the report which had been commissioned by Education Secretary John Swinney last year.

[..] The number of teachers who are specialists in their fields has also declined in the past decade, which has been cited by trade union chiefs as part of the decline in standards.

Figures obtained by the Herald in 2018 show that between 2008 and 2018, the number of subject specialists in secondary schools in Scotland had fallen by 11 per cent overall, with some areas seeing as much as a 44% fall in numbers.

The number of English teachers had fallen by 20% in the decade up to 2018, while the number of French teachers had plummeted by 32%.

German teachers fell by 44%, maths teachers by 15% and general science teachers had declined by 11%.

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Education Scotland Modern Languages Newsletter

21 February 2020 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's newsletter for Modern Languages is now available to view online. This issue includes links to the second suite of resources to support progression from Second to Third level.

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Secondaries failing to deliver ‘right’ to languages

20 February 2020 (TESS)

The Scottish government has been accused of a "dereliction of duty" as new figures show almost a third of Scottish secondaries are failing to teach their pupils a modern language for the first three years of high school – even though Scottish government policy is that children should be learning two foreign languages from upper primary onwards.

A new survey of Scottish councils has revealed that 30 per cent of secondaries are not delivering a second language consistently from S1 to S3.

Scottish government policy states that “language learning is an entitlement for all from P1 to S3”, with the government committed to delivering its 1+2 languages policy by August 2021. This means that pupils should learn two foreign languages – one from P1 and the second from P5 – as well as their mother tongue.

However, the research shows that many secondaries are struggling to deliver even one foreign language for the first three years of high school, let alone two.

These new figures come at a time when there is real concern over the uptake of languages at qualification level in Scottish secondaries, with Higher French entries last year 27 per cent down on entries in 2012 and German Higher entries down 30 per cent over the same period.

Spanish entries at Higher have, on the other hand, almost doubled but this increase has not compensated for the decreases seen in French and German.

The Languages Strategic Implementation Group set up in 2013 to lead the practical implementation of the 1+2 language learning policy has expressed concern that the term “entitlement” – as in the entitlement to learn a language up to S3 – is too vague and could be being “misinterpreted” by schools as “optional and not a right of the child”.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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Edinburgh's fight for Gaelic school immortalised in new book

19 February 2020 (The Scotsman)

It was a fight that deeply divided language activists and their opponents and rumbled on in the Capital for 14 long years.

Now the campaign to have a dedicated Gaelic primary school in the Capital has been turned into a new book.

Ever since 2013 the city has had its first Gaelic medium education (GME) school at Bun-Sgoil Taobh na Pàirce, a formerly mothballed primary school in Bonnington.

Previously the Gaelic “school” had been simply a unit within Tollcross Primary.

Às na Freumhan, “From the Grassroots”, by Gaelic language expert Tim Armstrong tells the story of the sometimes bitter debate which raged around the subject of Gaelic medium education in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and the fight to get agreement for Taobh na Pàirce to be built.

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Gaelic education detractors 'like bad 1970s comedians'

19 February 2020 (TES)

Critics of Gaelic-medium education are so out of touch they are like embarrassing 1970s comedians, the Scottish Parliament has heard.

And Gaelic's "very existence is at stake" so debate around the language must be depoliticised, according to a Tory MSP, whose comments were in marked contrast to recent pronouncements from his party.

Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles), said: "Thirty years ago, I remember hearing a prominent Scot – one who should have known better – offering the opinion on the radio that he was 'grateful' that his Gaelic-speaking parents had never spoken Gaelic to him when he was growing up in case that had 'held him back'.

"Let me be clear: the idea that Gaelic or any form of bilingualism might hold children back is a view that I thought had been long relegated to the same embarrassing corner as the views that were expressed by comedians on Saturday night TV around the year 1975."

Dr Allan was speaking – in Gaelic – to a motion calling on MSPs to welcome the decision by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) to enrol Primary 1 pupils into Gaelic-medium education (GME) as the default choice.

His motion also noted that the percentage of children entering GME in the Western Isles has steadily increased over the past decade, and commended the council's "progressive step to consolidate the national language in its heartland communities".

Dr Allan, a former junior education minister, added that "there is an overwhelming consensus among academics and researchers in support of the cognitive benefits of bilingual education". He highlighted a 2010 University of Edinburgh study showing that GME pupils, on a whole, were by Primary 5 outperforming their English-medium education peers in English reading.

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Makeathon: Deutsch Digital 2020

19 February 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

There are different opinions on what good media-based foreign language teaching should look like in the 21st century. In 2020, seven Goethe-Institutes in Northwest Europe will be carrying out a project that deals with this problem and wants to address the following questions:
 
Does digitalisation enable customized learning opportunities? Do digital learning opportunities motivate German learners? Should modern foreign language teaching be project-oriented and multidisciplinary? Does the use of technical devices such as tablets automatically make teaching modern? Does internal differentiation work better with digital media? Does foreign language teaching contribute to the development of media literacy?
 
The aim of our project is the development of digitally supported, task- and action-oriented teaching scenarios for German lessons.

The highlight of the project is a multi-day Makeathon (from 13 to 15 May 2020) in Germany. During the Makeathon, you will work with German teachers from the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Norway to develop scenarios for your German lessons with the support of experts. After the Makeathon, you will try out the teaching scenario you have co-developed in your German lessons.
 
Would you like to be part of the Makeathon and develop teaching scenarios together with other German teachers? There are four places available for teachers in Scotland. Apply until February 28, 2020!

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Wee Write 2020

14 February 2020 (Aye Write, Wee Write)

As part of Glasgow's wider Aye Write annual book festival, Wee Write is specifically aimed at children and young people.

Award winning authors, Wee Write favourites and brand new faces will bring books alive at The Mitchell Library and inspire a lifelong love of reading in children. All schools are able to book sessions at the event with Glasgow schools receiving a discounted admission. This year's Wee Write event for schools runs from 2 - 6 March, with a family day also being held on Saturday 7 March.

There are several Scots and Gaelic sessions to be enjoyed and schools can book story sessions at local libraries in a range of foreign languages.

Visit the Wee Write website for more information and booking details.

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Corpus Christi Primary pupils celebrate tapas night at Tennent’s Cook School

14 February 2020 (Clydebank Post)

Pupils from Corpus Christi Primary School marked the end of a weekly cooking club by celebrating a Spanish tapas night.

Youngsters who attend Spanish Club “El Club Español Familiar” along with family members, travelled to Tennent’s Cook School last Thursday - coinciding with Language Week Scotland.

The event marked their final week with a family celebration theme to apply all of their new language skills.

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Gaelic Sports Leader SCQF Level 4 Award

14 February 2020 (Highland Council)

A Gaelic sports leader’s level 4 will be running in Plockton High School for pupils aged 13+ between Monday 30 March and Thursday 2 April (3 overnight stays).

The feedback from previous courses has been positive and this gives participants a great chance to enhance their leadership whilst also using Gaelic as the tool to do this.

There are up to 16 places available (8 Highland 8 Western Isles to begin with but this could be flexible depending on demand).

The course is free of charge and all accommodation and hot food is provided - breakfast, lunch and dinner all served at the hostel which is on site at Plockton High School.

See the attached flyer for more information and the booking form.

New job profile on SCILT's website

7 February 2020 (SCILT)

We have a variety of job profiles on our website showcasing careers where languages are in use. The latest addition to our collection comes from Cassandra Scott, an independent translator based in Edinburgh.

Cassandra tells us in a competitive job market it's pays to stand out from the crowd with a skill that not everyone has. So if offered the chance to learn a language, her advice is take it!

Teachers share her profile with your pupils to support the Developing the Young Workforce initiative and highlight the benefits of language learning as a life skill.

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Scotland-China Association primary schools competition 2020

6 February 2020 (Scotland-China Association)

Open to all pupils in P5, P6 and P7 in Scottish schools, this year's competition from the Scotland-China Association asks students to design a kite.

Kites have been made and flown all over the world for thousands of years, and are very popular in China. The aim of the competition is to inspire the creativity of Scottish primary school pupils and to encourage them to learn more about Scotland and China. Entries should explore ideas which demonstrate understanding of links between Scotland and China through the design for a kite. We are working in partnership with RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, where the prize giving will be held.

Individual or group entries are welcomed and should take one of the following forms:

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Craftwork (for example an actual kite)
  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Video/media/film (no more than 10 minutes long)
  • Embroidery/stitching/textile

See the attached flyer for more information and the entry form, which must accompany all submissions. The deadline for entries is 15 May 2020.

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SCHOLAR Modern Languages revision sessions

4 February 2020 (SCHOLAR)

The remaining online revision sessions for this year for Modern Languages are as follows. Each will be presented by Douglas Angus, the SCHOLAR online tutor for Modern Languages:

  • 2 March 2020, 6:00pm - Exam skills - HIGHER MODERN LANGUAGES
  • 9 March 2020, 6:00pm - Exam skills - ADVANCED HIGHER MODERN LANGUAGES

Visit the SCHOLAR website for more information and log-in.

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Championing Gaelic is an easy win for language learning

31 January 2020 (TESS)

When Scottish Conservative Liz Smith criticised Gaelic-medium education, she was way off the mark, writes Henry Hepburn.

Monsieur Boudon adored the English language. In a rural corner of France, where hardly anyone could string together more than a few words of English, he spent evenings decoding Bruce Springsteen concept albums and parsing the prose of Charles Dickens’ most doorstep-like novels.

I had just started as an English language assistant at a lycée in Le Puy-en-Velay, in Auvergne, where Monsieur Boudon was an English teacher. In what was both a benevolent gesture and a prime opportunity to test his linguistic mettle, he quickly invited me over for dinner along with two Irish students who were working in other schools.

[..] I thought about Monsieur Boudon last week for the first time in many a year when there was a political stooshie over Gaelic-medium education. Following news of the landmark move that Gaelic would become the default language of schools in the Western Isles, the Scottish Conservatives’ education spokesperson, Liz Smith, was quoted in The Scotsman describing this as a “deeply troubling step” that could put children “at a distinct disadvantage to their peers”.

This felt like an echo of culture wars from a bygone era. There are still a few mutterings on social media about whether train station signs should be in Gaelic, but you rarely hear the overblown denunciations of the language that you used to get.

Now, middle-class parents in Edinburgh and Glasgow – often with no heritage in Gaelic’s heartlands – are clamouring for their children to be taught in the language. And a few weeks ago, it was reported that the Gaelic version of the Duolingo language learning app had become the company’s fastest-growing course ever, with 127,000 sign-ups in the month since its St Andrew’s Day launch.

[..] Attempts to boost Gaelic education should be celebrated, not disparaged – because we are all enriched by a plurality of languages.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

Watch young girl's hilarious rendition of well-known Scots poem ‘A Dug, A Dug’

29 January 2020 (Daily Record)

An Uddingston girl set the internet on fire this week with her hilarious rendition of a well-known Scots poem.

Youngster Amari Tade has amassed over 460,000 views online after her mum, Lindsay, uploaded the clip of the seven-year-old practising the role of the dad in Scots language poem ‘A Dug, A Dug’ by Bill Keys.

Amari, whose dad is former professional football player Gregory Tade, was tasked with learning the poem off by heart for a school recital as part of their Burns Day celebrations.

And the pupil took the internet by storm with her cute reactions to her mum, who reads the part of the child who pesters their dad for a ‘dug’.

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Science Specialist Confucius Classroom / Beyond the Panda

29 January 2020 (RZSS)

The RZSS offer the following education programmes to support the teaching and learning of Mandarin in schools.

  • Science Specialist Confucius Classroom - limited FREE sessions at Edinburgh Zoo extended to June 2020. We have two sessions available within our Specialist Classroom. Please note the updated conditions. Please see the attached pdf for details. 
  • Beyond the Panda - new booklet available which details the overall Beyond the Panda programme and provides guidance on the website. The booklet includes a planning and learning map detailing various Mandarin language topics, the games within the programme and where to find them. See the attached pdf for more information.

Dumfries and Galloway Council weighs up Gaelic on welcome signs

28 January 2020 (BBC)

A Scottish council is being asked to consider adding Gaelic to its welcome signs on roads entering the region.

There are currently 20 such boards on routes into Dumfries and Galloway - written only in English.

The chairman of promotion group Gàidhlig Dumgal has contacted the council to ask it to look at the move.

The organisation is particularly keen to see the bilingual signs on the entry routes into Galloway like the A75, A77, A714 and A713.

Gàidhlig Dumgal, the organisation set up nearly a decade ago to promote the language in the region, said there was a "a strong degree of interest" from locals and visitors alike in the Gaelic heritage of the area.

It added that there could be long-term economic benefits, as well as increasing awareness of the language.

The group said a form of Gaelic - Galwegian Gaelic - was spoken in Galloway from around the 5th Century to some time between 1600 and 1800.

Dumfries and Galloway Council's Gaelic Language Plan (GLP) has also recognised the "important role" it played in the linguistic heritage of the region.

"Gaelic speakers resident in our council area form a small but important and culturally active part of our community," it said.

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Scots speakers should learn from Gaelic and feel no shame – Alistair Heather

27 January 2020 (The Scotsman)

The decision to make Gaelic the default language in the early years of primary education on the Western Isles should be an inspiration to speakers of Scots, writes Alistair Heather.

The news that Gaelic will now become the default first language of education in Na h-Eileanan Siar is a remarkable positive step. It is policy reacting to a community preference for teaching to be conducted in the native language of the area. It has taken years of grassroots activism and pressure to bring this change to pass.

For those 1.5 million of us that speak Scots in Scotland, and especially those in Scots heartlands, we should learn lessons from this Hebridean development and apply them very quickly to Scotland’s other indigenous spoken minority language.

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Espacios Increíbles 2020 – Get your school involved!

24 January 2020 (SCILT)

Following the successful pilot last year, this exciting competition, using Spanish, design team work and creativity is now officially open to secondary schools across all local authorities in Scotland to take part in this year.

Aimed at S3, learners will work in teams to research and design a building in a Spanish speaking area. They will present their design in Spanish, and then go forward to represent their school at national level. The finalists will take part in a live event at the University of Strathclyde where their designs will be judged by industry professionals and academics. The winners (as part of their prize) will have their model made in 3D by the School of Architecture.

This highly motivating project for learners has had a positive effect on uptake in the senior phase for those schools who participated in the pilot in 2019. The skills focus delivers on key aspects of Developing the Young Workforce. The learner materials that are designed to fulfil evidence requirements for achieving Level 4 Benchmarks are available on the SCILT website, and can be easily adapted to suit your chosen group. 

Visit the Eventbrite page to find out more and register your interest by Friday 27 March 2020. 

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Gaelic to be 'default' language for new pupils in Western Isles schools

23 January 2020 (BBC)

Children starting school in the Western Isles this summer will be taught in Gaelic, unless their parents opt-out.

Until now parents had to opt in to Gaelic-medium education (GME) on the islands, where lessons in English was the default.

But from August, all new P1 children will enrol in GME unless their parents request otherwise.

The move was prompted because more than half of parents were expected to choose Gaelic-medium education.

Western Isles council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, is the first of Scotland's 32 local authorities to make the move.

The islands has Scotland's largest Gaelic speaking community.

GME sees lessons delivered in Gaelic until P4 and then English is introduced, with the aim of giving children a bilingual education.

Read more...

Language competitions

22 January 2020 (RZSS)

RZSS and our partner StampIT have launched language competitions. All are based on a fantastic activity which covers many curriculum objectives starting with just one postage stamp. Tell the story of a Spanish, French, Chinese or in fact any country/language stamp. Full details are on the attached pdf leaflets. There are specific leaflets for Spanish, French and Mandarin. There is also another leaflet 'Stamps from around the World' and for this competition any topic (including any language) can be entered. This activity links to the RZSS & StampIT language series.

The competition will continue to run each year, therefore there is no time limit for entries. However for entries to be shown in the 2020 Scottish Annual Congress, please send by 1 March 2020. Entries are encouraged from all age groups. Example pages are shown but younger pupils can still enter and possibly draw around the stamp and write a word or two in the language as appropriate. Pupils can enter more than one of the competitions.

Check out the attached leaflets for more information on each of the competitions. If anyone has difficulty in finding stamps, please contact Sandie Robb - SRobb@rzss.org.uk.

Multilingual Debate 2020

21 January 2020 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate and postgraduate students. The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The audience is mainly made up of pupils coming from Scottish and English secondary schools, along with university undergraduate students considering entering the interpreting profession, as well as government and local authority representatives, The audience participates by listening to the arguments, putting questions to the speakers in the languages represented and voting on the motion.

The Multilingual Debate 2020 will take place on Wednesday 25 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus. Two sessions are available and bookings are now being taken. Schools can book up to 15 tickets free of charge.

Visit the website for more information.

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Federico Fellini centenary festival

20 January 2020 (Istituto Italiano di Cultura Edimburgo)

Discover the fascinating world and unparalleled work of Italian film-maker, Federico Fellini. This unique festival at the Filmhouse Edinburgh celebrates the centenary of his birth, with several screenings running from January through to March 2020.

Most are foreign language screenings with subtitles. Several of the titles are suitable for children.

Visit the Filmhouse website for further information and to book.

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e-Sgoil National 5/Higher Gaelic (Learners) course

17 January 2020 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil is taking applications from S4-S6 pupils for its 2020-2021 Nat 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) courses. These courses are fully funded by the Scottish Government, are delivered online and are open to pupils from anywhere in Scotland. See the attached flyer for more information.

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Related Files

Scottish Education Awards 2020

16 January 2020 (Education Scotland)

If you haven't already done so, make sure you get your nominations in for the 2020 Scottish Education Awards! The awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education.

The annual event recognises those who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcases the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

Among the wide range of categories are the awards for Gaelic Education and the Internationalism and Languages award. 

Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for further information and to submit your nomination by 14 February 2020.

Read more...

SCHOLAR Online Tutor Sessions - Modern Languages

10 January 2020 (SCHOLAR)

The next online tutor sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages take place on Monday 13 January 2020.

  • 6:00pm - Higher Modern Languages: Interactive translation
  • 6:45pm - Advanced Higher Modern Languages: Interactive translation

Visit the SCHOLAR website for further information.

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Discover the Arabic world – A unique experience for Scotland’s schools

10 January 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT, in partnership with Qatar Foundation International and eSgóil is currently looking for ten state schools in Scotland who would be interested in opening the door to the Arab world with an innovative new pilot project. 

The collaboration will provide an opportunity for both primary and secondary schools to offer L3 learning experiences in Arabic language and culture.  Courses will be co-created by the SCILT team and a specially commissioned writing team of native speakers, with language lessons delivered online by a native speaker of Arabic via e-Sgoil. For learners in primary schools the course will be offered as a ten-week inter-disciplinary block of learning.  For secondary schools, the course will focus on developing employability skills and be aimed at S6 senior phase learners who are seeking to enhance their language learning experience and their CVs.  Participating schools will also receive the support of a fully-trained, native speaking, language assistant. The lessons will give learners the chance to explore aspects of Arabic culture as well as providing a solid linguistic foundation for learning the world’s fifth most spoken language.

In addition to teaching support and professional learning opportunities, schools participating in the pilot phase will also receive a grant of £2000.  This can provide schools with resources and experiences that enhance and support the language learning and promote a positive experience of Arabic culture.

If you would like your school to be considered to take part in the pilot, please note your interest at SCILT scilt@strath.ac.uk before close of business on Friday 31 January 2020.

Winter 2020: C’est la rentrée!

9 January 2020 (Institut français)

The Institut français in Edinburgh is now enrolling for winter term classes commencing 13 January 2020.

Visit the website for information on the courses available and to enrol.

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Into Film Scots language events

7 January 2020 (Into Film)

Into Film are hosting fantastic FREE Scots Language Events this month in Edinburgh, Dumfries and Aberdeen. Enjoy a screening of the Highway Rat followed by a reading of the story in Scots by a special guest.

Visit the website now to secure your place - tickets are going fast!

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FilmG - Gaelic short film competition entries

7 January 2020 (FilmG)

You can now watch this year's YOUTH and OPEN category entries in the FilmG short film competition, and voting is open for the People's Choice Award.

Read more...

Big bosie for Doric as language gets a makar of its own

16 December 2019 (The Times)

Northeast Scotland is to get its own poet laureate to promote the region’s native tongue. Sheena Blackhall, a writer and linguist, has been named as the first Doric makar.

For decades it was forbidden in schools and derided as slang but now Doric, or northeast Scots, spoken from Montrose in Angus to Nairn in the Highlands, has official recognition alongside English and Gaelic.

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Scotland’s language communities and the 1+2 Language Strategy

12 December 2019 (MEITS)

Scotland’s school population is becoming increasingly more linguistically diverse. Data from the Scottish Schools Census 2018 (all publicly funded primary, secondary and special schools) identified 44,311 pupils (6.5%) learning English as an additional language (EAL) and speaking 149 different languages. This current number of EAL pupils shows an increase of 95% from 2010 when the data was first recorded nationally. At present there are very few opportunities for these children and young people to use and develop their first languages in mainstream schools for educational purposes.

The Scottish Government's 1+2 Language Strategy, launched in 2012, has refocused attention on language policy in education and the provision for language learning in Scottish schools. This radical reform of language learning is based on the 1+2 model recommended by the European Union (EU) and adopted in many European countries and beyond. The ambitious aim is that, by 2021, every school will offer children the opportunity to learn a first additional language from Primary 1 (4-5 years of age), and a second additional language by Primary 5 (8–9 years of age). This 1+2 provision will continue until learners reach the end of Secondary 3 (13–14 years of age).

The 1+2 Language Strategy document includes a commitment to further develop links involving “language communities” to “derive maximum benefit from foreign language communities in Scotland” (Scottish Government 2012, p. 24). The responsibility for putting the strategy into practice is devolved to the 32 local authorities in Scotland and schools can make informed choices about the additional languages to introduce, including languages of the strong economies of the future and community languages of pupils.

However, a review of progress on implementing the strategy shows the languages on offer in mainstream schools remain dominated almost entirely by a narrow range of European languages, such as French and German, and a small number of classes teaching Mandarin and British Sign Language (BSL) (Christie et al. 2016). As yet, there are no established examples in primary schools of teaching community languages such as Polish, Urdu and Arabic.

This narrow provision means it is left to concerned parents from language communities to organise schools and classes themselves in order to develop their children’s heritage languages and literacies as it is integral to cultural traditions. These complementary schools (also known as “community”, “supplementary” or “heritage language” schools) operate in the evenings and weekends and play a key role in ensuring productive parent-teacher engagement. As community-led schools, they enjoy parental support and therefore foster greater engagement with parents compared with mainstream schools (Ramalingam and Griffith 2015). Although the different language communities are aware of the complementary schools in their geographical area through social networking, the provision remains a hidden and untapped national resource for language planning and valuing the linguistic diversity of school communities.

This policy paper reports on a national survey of complementary school providers in order to gain insights into the perspectives of “language communities” in relation to community language learning and their awareness of the 1+2 Language Strategy. This evidence is then used to identify aspects of the 1+2 Language Strategy that could be enhanced and strategies for achieving this.

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The Glasgow school using play to boost literacy and numeracy

6 December 2019 (TESS)

From making imaginary pizzas to becoming interior designers for a doll’s house, learning through play isn’t just for the youngest pupils, argue two Glasgow teachers. They tell Emma Seith how they are using it to support children who speak English as an additional language – and to connect with colleagues around the world.

Have you heard the tale about play-based learning, a viral Facebook page and one of Scotland’s most diverse communities? It involves two young teachers in Glasgow, who have gained thousands of followers around the world for their imaginative use of play in the classroom.

The magic happens at Holy Cross Primary in the Govanhill area, which serves a truly multicultural community. Holy Cross has a significant Romanian and Slovakian pupil population, and there are a large number of children with Pakistani heritage, many of whom speak Urdu and Punjabi. Overall, 80 per cent of pupils speak English as an additional language – something that proved challenging for Rebecca Meighan and Claire Scally when they were both teaching P1.

So, what are they doing that has struck such a chord with teachers around the world?

Meighan and Scally quickly realised that before they could push on with reading and writing skills, they needed to first build up their pupils’ English vocabulary. But they didn’t want to simply show pictures – they wanted pupils to be able to “see and touch and feel these objects”. The solution was to enable them to acquire language in a more natural way: to let them play.

“When we got to teaching phonics, initial sounds and word blends, we were finding it really difficult because the children were coming either with little English or no English at all,” explains Scally. “You always start with the letter S – the ‘sss’ sound – but when we were trying to get them to think of words that start with the letter S, they were just looking at us blankly.”

Meighan and Scally decided to change tack. After brainstorming words with the sound they wanted children to learn that week, they set up play activities related to that sound. For instance, with the “V” sound, one activity was to make a volcano erupt (with lava produced by combining vinegar and baking soda). The children were also given the chance to role-play being a vet; one of the suggested activities was taking a pet dog for a vaccination.

The plan achieved the desired result: instead of looking blank when they were asked to give examples of words featuring the sound they were working on, the children were able to reel off a list. And, importantly, they remembered these words because they had been immersed in a world (albeit an imaginary one) where they were relevant.

“We knew that if we gave children the chance to interact with these objects – to do and not just see – they would remember them and gain some more language from that,” explains Meighan.

Meighan and Scally set up The Power of Play Facebook page to collaborate with teachers outside their school (bit.ly/PowerPlayGla). They quickly discovered that teachers across the UK – as well as from Finland, Norway, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – were on similar journeys and wanted to introduce more play into their classrooms.

At the time of writing, the page had attracted more than 17,000 followers and 16,000-plus likes. Some of Meighan and Scally’s posts, meanwhile, have attracted hundreds of comments.

Many Facebook commenters ask them where they get their resources from, including the miniature apples decorating their cardboard apple trees, brightly painted numbers with googly eyes and “bones” (dog biscuits) used for Halloween activities.

What they have created is a community of teachers helping each other. The ideas that go down well, they say, are the ones that are relatively easy to do, and which feature resources that can be adapted and used again.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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Parlons français 2020

6 December 2019 (AMOPA)

The competition for Advanced Higher students of French has now been running for over ten years and is back again for 2020!

To enter, all that's needed is a short recording of students as they prepare for their speaking test. Judges will assess it, provide feedback to everyone and some will be awarded prizes and certificates. It is hoped that taking part will be a useful exercise to support pupils' learning and preparation and not a distraction. Since they are practising anyway, why not let them have some feedback on that?

For more information and how to enter see the attached flyer.

Related Files

Gaelic National Schools Debate 2019

6 December 2019 (Scottish Parliament)

Well done to all the semi-finalists and finalists of the Gaelic National Schools Debate. And congratulations to winners Sgoil Lionacleit and Raonaid Campbell from Sir E Scott.

The final was hosted at the Scottish Parliament on 5 December and is available to watch on the Scottish Parliament's TV channel.

Read more...

Language Ambassadors: Encouraging Pupils to Learn Languages

5 December 2019 (University of Stirling)

Over the course of this Autumn/Winter semester at Stirling, we’ve continued to develop our work with secondary schools, sometimes focusing primarily on French, sometimes working in collaboration with our colleagues in Spanish, always underlining the advantages that come through studying languages. We’re hoping to post a few more updates about these activities over the coming weeks and, to start with, we’re pleased to be able to post the following article, co-written by Laura, who is in the final year of a BA Hons in English Studies and French, and Michael, who is in Year 2 of his BA Hons programme in Professional Education (Primary) with a specialism in Modern Languages. Laura and Michael’s day saw them representing French at Stirling as Language Ambassadors at Williamwood High School in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire.

Read more...

Tom McKean: Speaking from the heart in Doric, the language of home and family

5 December 2019 (Press and Journal)

The north-east of Scotland is home to an unmatched heritage of music, song, and story, history and folklore, and the creativity of the people who live and work here.

A significant part of this inheritance, and one which runs through all the others, is north-east Scots, often known as ‘Doric’ in the northern and western parts of our region, and by many other names as well – Mearns, Toonser, Aiberdeen, Fisher Doric, Buckie, oor tongue, spikkin, and more.

For well over a century, North-East children arriving in school would be taught, and at times coerced, to ‘talk’ as opposed to ‘spik’.

To ‘spik’ meant to use the language of family, hearth, and home, while English was thought to be the way to get ahead in the world.

This language of home and family is part of people’s character, world view, and wry sense of humour.

But it is less used in the more formal walks of life and we don’t hear enough north-east voices in the media, in civic life, and in our schools.

But the language of home, it turns out, is what’s needed for real progress, and real progress is not just about exams and university.

No, real progress is raising children who have confidence in themselves, their language, and in their communities.

[..]  But Doric is not just for native speakers. In fact, some of the best pupils doing Scots/Doric at Banff Academy are from outwith Scotland and they’ve picked up the language in no time at all.

Language is a great way to build bridges across communities and with people from other parts of the world.

Read more...

Professional learning - Issue to action: Teaching toolkit for a fairer world

4 December 2019 (Scotdec)

Scotdec offers this online course for secondary school teachers across Scotland with an interest in Global Citizenship Education.

Open to all Scottish Secondary school teachers of Maths, English, Modern Languages, Science and Social Subjects, Issue to action will connect you with a network of teachers across Scotland and equip you with the skills to teach your subject through a global citizen lens.

From the comfort of your own home, at a time and location that suits you, you can take part in the Issue to action in a way that fits around your other commitments.

Visit the website to find out more and register your interest for the Spring cohort.

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards 2020

4 December 2019 (Scottish Education Awards)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education.

The annual event recognises those who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcases the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

Among the wide range of categories are the awards for Gaelic Education and the Internationalism and Languages award. 

Nominations are now invited.

Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for further information and to submit your nomination by 14 February 2020.

Read more...

Modern Languages Newsletter - December 2019

3 December 2019 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest Modern Languages newsletter is now available online. This edition includes updates and support resources for 1+2.

Read more...

Greenock pupils impress First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a show at the Scottish Parliament

3 December 2019 (Greenock Telegraph)

It's a case of mind your languages for Greenock school pupils who impressed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as they put on a superb show at the Scottish Parliament.

Whinhill Primary were invited to bring their culture and diversity showcase to Holyrood and blew everyone away with a special performance.

The Greenock school uses performing arts to bring languages to life and the children were able to express themselves in Gaelic, German and Tamil.

Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan arranged for them to come to parliament and said they proved great ambassadors.

Read more...

Western Isles Gaelic debate comes to its conclusion this week

2 December 2019 (Stornoway Gazette)

The semi-finals of the National Secondary Schools’ Gaelic Debate will take place on Wednesday this week.The first semi-final will see Inverness Royal Academy B up against Lionacleit School. The second debate will see Bishopbriggs High School take on Sir E Scott.The two winning teams will meet in the Final, at The Scottish Parliament on Thursday, December 5th, at 7pm, where they will debate, ‘In 20 years time, the real Gàidhlig communities will be situated in the big cities’.

Looking forward to the final, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, said: “Gaelic matters. “It is part of who we are and part of Scotland’s rich cultural identity. The humour, insight and linguistic skill displayed by young people in this competition year after year, convincingly demonstrates that the language continues to flourish. “It gives me immense pleasure that the final will be held on the floor of Holyrood’s debating chamber, marking this, our joint twentieth anniversary.”

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

25 November 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published updates to the Advanced Higher Modern Languages course. The document outlines changes to take effect from 2020 and can be found on the SQA AH Modern Languages webpage under subject updates.

Read more...

'Dreich' is named most popular Scots word by Scottish Book Trust

20 November 2019 (BBC)

A word that is commonly used to describe the Scottish weather has been named the "most iconic" Scots word.

"Dreich" - meaning dull or gloomy - topped a poll to mark Book Week Scotland, led by the Scottish Book Trust.

It beat off contenders including "glaikit", "scunnered" and "shoogle".

The charity said the first recorded use of the word "dreich" was in 1420, when it originally meant "enduring" or "slow, tedious".

A total of 1,895 votes were cast in the annual poll.

Read more...

Education Scotland Gaelic Newsletter

20 November 2019 (Education Scotland)

The November 2019 edition of Education Scotland's newsletter for Gaelic Medium Education is now available to view online.

Topics in this issue include:

  • National Improvement Hub resources to support GME in the curriculum
  • Music and wellbeing resources
  • Professional learning and leadership opportunities
  • Early years support
  • Sharing effective practice to support improvement

Read more...

SEET school competitions reminder

20 November 2019 (SEET)

Have you registered your school yet for either of the competitions run by the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET)?

The Euroquiz project is open to all P6 pupils across Scotland and sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world. Subjects covered include languages, history, geography, culture and European affairs. Heats commence January 2020.

Our World is a film making project for S3-S6 pupils asking them to use modern languages to express thoughts on topics such as migration and sustainable tourism through the media of film. Deadline for storyboard submissions is 3 December 2019.

More information about each project and how to register can be found on the attached document or visit the SEET website.

Read more...

Related Files

Oor Scots langage is getting taen fae ben the hoose ance mair

17 November 2019 (The National)

THERE a wheeshit renaissance in literacy gaun on in Scotland the noo. Whither hit’s the floorishin o online sel-publishin thro social media, or fae the wullfu push tae fling aff the dreid “Scottish cultural cringe” oor Scots langage is getting taen fae ben the hoose an pit oot in public ance mair. Ae hing aboot wir Scots langage is oor unique vocabulary o wirds, an fir Book Week Scotland (November 18-24) Scottish Book Trust’ll annoonce the result o their iconic Scots wird vote on Thursday 21 November, via their social media channels.

Scots is the langage maist relatit tae the English langage. Hit’s near eneuch tae English, as a maitter o fack, thit fae the echteent century there a strang unitit effort fir tae hae fowk “spikk proper”.

Read more...

Why learning Scots is having a moment

8 November 2019 (TES)

More than 1.5 million people said they spoke Scots in the 2011 census, and now this language is enjoying a resurgence in the classroom. The learning benefits are immense, writes Kirsty Crommie.

There are thought to be more than 7,000 languages spoken across the world, with many more not yet known outside the small communities in which they are spoken. Around 330 are spoken in Europe and more than 2,000 in Asia. Over 850 languages are spoken within Papua New Guinea alone (Miaschi, 2017) and, within the thousands of languages spoken worldwide, there are countless dialects and regional variations, rich in vocabulary and sounds.

Language lets us share, discover and make connections. But it is also a representation of culture and identity, and it symbolises the incredibly diverse world in which we live – so, with 75 per cent of the world’s population not speaking English, it is imperative that we encourage the learning of languages throughout school.

And this must include the Scots language: by studying our minority languages, such as Scots, we are celebrating our diverse and fascinating linguistic heritage, as we should.

In primary schools across Scotland, at least one additional language is being taught. The Scottish government’s 1+2 model for languages has a target of ensuring that by 2021, every Scottish school will offer children one additional language from P1 and a second from P5; many schools are well on their way to meeting that goal.

It is a target that is not without its challenges: staff must receive relevant training if they are to effectively deliver the teaching of a language of which they may have little or no experience. But the benefits are such that these challenges must be overcome.

Curriculum for Excellence: Modern Languages Experiences and Outcomes clearly lays out the benefits. Not only are literacy skills enhanced, but pupils learning a new language will also:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of their first language and appreciate the richness and interconnected nature of languages.
  • Enhance their understanding of their own and other languages and gain insights into other cultures.
  • Develop skills that they can use and enjoy in work and leisure throughout their lives.

The benefits apply just as much to children learning minority languages. In Scotland, there are three native languages: English, Scots and Gaelic. While English is the most common, more than 1.5 million people said they spoke Scots in the 2011 census, while over 57,000 said they spoke Gaelic.

A number of schools exist to provide teaching and learning through Gaelic, particularly in the areas where it is spoken most, but the teaching of Scots is generally left to schools and teachers with an interest in and enthusiasm for Scots, although some have opted to include Scots as part of their 1+2 approach.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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RZSS China Mobile Library - What's on offer?

7 November 2019 (RZSS)

The RZSS China Mobile Library is available throughout Scotland free of charge. Choose from the 'panda pack package' which includes panda expert visits with free panda packs of resources or Chinese Endangered Species outreach sessions. More information can be found on the attached pdf flyer. Please include all the details requested in your email if you wish to book. 

RZSS Science Specialist Confucius Classroom - What's on offer?

7 November 2019 (RZSS)

RZSS Specialist Confucius Classroom has limited free places for two sessions at Edinburgh Zoo.

  • Our P3-P4 'It makes Panda Sense' session is available to book from October through to December.
  • Our P5-P7 'China's animals and habitats will be available from January to April but bookings are being taken now. The P5-P7 session is in our new amazing immersive space!

Please read the attached pdf flyer for more information and please include all the details requested in your email if you wish to book. 

Entries sought for Scots writing competition

3 November 2019 (Grampian Online)

Entries are being sought for an annual Scots language writing competition.

The Keith branch of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland are looking for entries for the Charles Murray Writing Competition, which encourages the passing down of the Scots language from generation to generation.

The competition was launched to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Murray, an Alford-born poet, and is now into its sixth year.

Work entered into the competition can be prose or poetry and can be written about anything – but has to be in Scots. The competition is open to anyone, of any age, but must be written by two or more people of different generations – for example mother and daughter or grandfather and grandson.

Read more...

FOKUS: Films from Germany 2019-20

30 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The fifth edition of FOKUS: Films from Germany runs from 21 November 2019 to 31 January 2020. Screenings will take place at various venues throughout Scotland. The programme includes two school screenings of 'the Resistance'. The film is suitable for pupils aged 12+ and is screened in German with English subtitles.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full programme details.

Read more...

Course to create new generation of Gaelic-speaking professionals in Scotland

29 October 2019 (The Scotsman)

A new Gaelic 'immersion' course is being set up at Glasgow University to help create a new generation of Gaelic-speaking professionals in Scotland.

The one-year course at Glasgow University will offer an intensive language learning experience for students and adult learners.

Students will undertake eight-months of tuition at the university followed by a three-week residential school at Ceòlas Uibhist, the Gaelic education and cultural centre in South Uist.

The course has been set up with a grant of £455,000 from the Scottish Funding Council.

It comes as Glasgow City Council considers a £16m commitment to build a fourth Gaelic Medium Education (GME) school.

The new course will help meet demand for Gaelic-speaking teachers as pupil numbers rise.

Read more...

Related Links

Does Scotland have enough Gaelic teachers? (The Scotsman, 30 October 2019)

Gaelic immersion opportunities expanded in Scotland (Scottish Funding Council, 29 October 2019)

Concours de la Francophonie

28 October 2019 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse has launched their annual Concours de la Francophonie for schools, which aims to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

​All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French.

Entries can be submitted in four categories: P1/P4 - P5/P7 - S1/S3 - S4/S6.

The submission deadline is 20 January 2020. 

This school competition is sponsored by TOTAL E&P, the Franco Scottish Society and is organised in partnership with the Alliance française de Glasgow, SALT, SCILT and the University of Edinburgh.

Visit the Institut français website for more information and to discover previous competition winners.

Read more...

French classes in Glasgow

25 October 2019 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow currently has the following opportunities for French language learners. Click on the relevant link for more information:

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information about the organisation and the activities they offer.

Read more...

Speakers of Arabic - call for writers

24 October 2019 (SCILT)

SCILT is currently planning to develop materials to support the learning and teaching of Arabic as an L3 option for primary and secondary schools in Scotland. 
 
If you are a fluent speaker of Arabic, ideally with an understanding of Scottish education, and would like to contribute to the development of these materials by joining our working group, please note your interest by contacting SCILT by close of business on Monday 11 November 2019.

Full support will be given by the SCILT professional development officers on policy, the Scottish curriculum and appropriate methodology. Contributors will be paid as SCILT associates for their time and expertise.

Book Week Scotland 2019

23 October 2019 (Scottish Book Trust)

Book Week Scotland is an annual celebration of books and reading that takes place every November. The programme for this year's Book Week Scotland has just been launched. The programme includes workshops, poetry and storytelling sessions in Gaelic and Scots for both adults and children.

Visit the website to find out about events and activities taking place near you.

Read more...

Prestigious Scottish school to open Chinese campus

22 October 2019 (ECNS)

Architects have begun construction on the Chinese outpost of a top-ranked Scottish school that will offer bilingual education to elementary and high school students.

Fettes Guangzhou is a collaborative venture between Chinese education company Bright Scholar and Edinburgh-based Fettes College, opened in 1870, which counts former United Kingdom prime minister Tony Blair among its alumni.

Set to open in September next year, Fettes Guangzhou will be the brand's first international campus.

The school will be dual-curricular, offering up to 2,000 students aspects of both the British and Chinese education systems. Fettes Guangzhou will teach boys and girls and take full boarders as well as day students.

"Fettes Guangzhou will be a true reflection of Fettes College internationally, fully adopt our ethos, provide an outstanding academic education, focus on sector-leading pastoral care and introduce a wealth of co-curricular activities to broaden the horizons of all of its students," said Bruce Dingwall, who is deputy chair of the Fettes Trust.

Situated on the northern outskirts of Edinburgh, Fettes College was named Scotland's top independent secondary school in 2018 by The Sunday Times School Guide, which uses results from General Certificate of Secondary Education, A-Level, and International Baccalaureate exams to determine its rankings.

Several high-profile individuals have attended Fettes, including 2015's Nobel Prize in Economics winner Angus Deaton, Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton, and sinologist Roderick Mac-Farquhar, who served as director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.

Bright Scholar is China's largest operator of international and bilingual schools, and the company has made a string of investments in British education in recent years.

Read more...

Gaelic 'disappearing' from Scottish island communities

18 October 2019 (The Guardian)

The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland’s island communities has plummeted in less than a decade, according to a leading Highland researcher who believes the language is on the point of “societal collapse” across Scotland.

Although just over 58,000 people reported themselves as Gaelic speakers in the 2011 Scottish census, Prof Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, the director of the Language Sciences Institute at the University of the Highlands and Islands, will publish a study next year following extensive fieldwork in the Western Isles, Skye and Tiree that estimates that the vernacular group on the islands, where speakers are most heavily concentrated, does not exceed 11,000.

Ó Giollagáin believes that existing policies to promote Gaelic focus too heavily on encouraging new speakers, mainly in urban areas, or promoting it as a heritage language, and that without a significant shift to supporting existing speakers, Gaelic “will continue as the language of school and heritage but not as a living language”.

Read more...

Related Links

Number of island Gaelic speakers ‘plummeting’ (The Scotsman, 20 October 2019)

Welsh, Hawaiian and Navajo … now Gaelic is in line for a rescue (The Guardian, 20 October 2019)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig launches campaign to spread Gaelic pride

15 October 2019 (The National)

Scotland's Gaelic development board has unveiled a new campaign inspired by a scheme in Wales aimed at spreading pride in the language.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig launched the “#cleachdi” hashtag at the Royal National Mod 2019 in Glasgow.

The body is urging Gaelic speakers and learners to include #cleachdi alongside #useit and #gaidhlig on social media, email signatures or by wearing the symbol on stickers, showing their pride in the language.

Shona MacLennan, Bòrd na Gàidhlig chief executive officer, said: “More and more people want to use and learn Gaelic and this initiative is a very positive and easy to use means to encourage more people to use more Gaelic in more situations.

“We will be joining all those who speak the language in displaying our pride at letting others know we are Gaelic speakers. We think #cleachdi is the perfect way to do this. So let’s #useit and put #gaidhlig firmly on the map.”

The new #cleachdi campaign is similar to the Welsh Language Commissioner’s “Iaith Gwaith”, or “Welsh at Work”, scheme, which is used in Wales to show that a service is available in Welsh.

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Languages Course Reports 2019

14 October 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners), German, Italian and Chinese languages course reports for the 2019 exam diet.

The reports provide information on candidates’ performance.

Visit the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage to access the reports.  

Read more...

Funding for Gaelic education

11 October 2019 (Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government is to provide £2 million of capital support towards a fourth Gaelic primary school in Glasgow.

The new school, likely to be in the north-east of the city, is being built to meet demand for Gaelic medium education.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced the investment as he formally opened the 116th Royal National Mod in Glasgow.

Read more...

Gaelic Play Warns of Climate Change Crisis

9 October 2019 (Stornoway Gazette)

A new Gaelic language play about climate change is nearing the end of a successful six week national tour of Gaelic medium primary schools.

An Rabhadh (The Warning), performed by Artair Donald and Katie Hammond, highlights the concerns regarding climate change and points to the positive changes that can be made to reduce waste and our carbon footprint.

The tour, which started at the end of August, will visit 47 schools across Scotland, taking in the central belt, Perthshire, Aberdeen, Argyllshire, Skye and Lochalsh and the Western Isles.

The final leg will include visits to schools in the Highland Council area, East Kilbride and the Isle of Tiree.

Aimed at upper primary pupils, the play has been produced through Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Gaelic language theatre-in-education project Meanbh-chuileag and was written and directed by Angus Macleod, Drama Officer with Fèisean nan Gàidheal. He explained: “The play features two environmentally-friendly aliens who are on a mission to rescue Earth in the year 2119.

“Unfortunately they find that reversing the effects of environmental damage is not possible but a time-travelling gizmo enables a journey back to 2019 to warn the planet’s occupants before it’s too late.”

Read more...

Discovery Film Festival 2019

8 October 2019 (Discovery Film Festival)

This year's Discovery Film Festival takes place from 19 October to 3 November. Now in its sixteenth year, the festival brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. With several native language films on offer, and a programme for schools, language learners have a great opportunity to test their listening and comprehension skills.

Read more...

Modern Languages Newsletter - October 2019

3 October 2019 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest Modern Languages Newsletter is now available online. This edition includes an update on 1+2 policy on the delivery of L3 in the secondary context.

Read more...

Winners of first ever Scots language ‘Oscars’ revealed

29 September 2019 (The Scotsman)

Writers, broadcasters, singers, poets and schools have been honoured at the first ever Scots Language Oscars, in the latest addition to the nation’s traditional arts and culture calendar.

The event, which saw 11 awards presented at the Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow, was launched to coincide with the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages initiative.

The new Scots Language Awards celebrate the country’s original tongue, which dates back around 1,400 years and is thought to have been spoken by almost a third of the population.

The event, backed by arts agency Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Scots Language Centre, has been instigated by Hands Up for Trad, who are also behind the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year contest, which has been staged for the last 20 years, and the Scots Trad Music Awards, which were launched in 2003.

Read more...

French classes in Glasgow

24 September 2019 (Alliance Française)

The autumn term has now started at the Alliance Française in Glasgow. Below is information on some of the upcoming events and activities this session. Click on the appropriate link for more information:

To find out more about the full range of courses and activities on offer, visit the Alliance Française website.

Read more...

Newsletter for Gaelic education

24 September 2019 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published their latest Gaelic education newsletter. This edition includes information on the following:

  • New educational resources
  • Leadership programmes 
  • Sharing effective practice - workshops and resources
  • Professional learning opportunities
  • Links to information and resources from partners supporting Gaelic in the curriculum

Access the newsletter online.

Read more...

Autumn term Chinese classes

19 September 2019 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland in Edinburgh offers a diverse programme of evening classes for the general public to enjoy learning Chinese. Autumn 2019 courses will start week beginning 30 September and booking for these classes is now open.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Maths Week Scotland – Maths wi nae Borders

19 September 2019 (Maths Week Scotland)

As part of Maths Week Scotland, pupils of all ages can participate in the 'Maths wi nae borders' competition, which requires students to respond to one of the questions in either Gaelic or Scots.

The competition is inspired by 'Mathématiques sans frontières'. North Lanarkshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland and Heriot Watt University work together to encourage young language learners to apply their knowledge in a Maths setting.

This stimulating and light-hearted competition for secondary schools combines Maths and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in both their Maths and Language Learning. The first question requires an explanation in a foreign language. 

Teachers look out for the e-mail inviting you to take part in 'Mathématiques sans frontières' in January 2020.

Meanwhile get your classes involved this Maths Week in the 'Maths wi nae borders' competition. Entry deadline 18 October 2019.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Our World film making project has launched for 2019-20

18 September 2019 (SEET)

Want to get pupils more engaged in language learning, global citizenship and encourage uptake? Are you keen to improve their confidence and win an award or two? Then get involved!

SEET’s popular Our World film making project has now launched for the 2019-20 year! Our World uses film making and global citizenship as a means to help pupils explore and improve their use of foreign languages. It’s totally free, and all you have to do is sign up. Last year over 70% of participant pupils said they were more likely to continue with their study of languages after taking part.

Teams of four, from S3-S6, need to come up with a creative idea for a film based on one of this year's themes and submit their storyboard by 3 December 2019.

See the attached flyer or visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Related Files

Secondary Scottish education must be reviewed, MSPs say

16 September 2019 (TES)

A review of the senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence is needed to ensure that pupils' aspirations are being met and that they have a wide enough range of opportunities in schools, MSPs have found.

This is one of the recommendations of a report published today by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee, following an inquiry into the number of subjects available to pupils and, in particular, concerns over subject choice at S4.

The committee heard that, following the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), there had been confusion and inadequate support from Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

[...] The committee also heard evidence that the changes to curriculum structure have had a negative impact on the number of pupils taking languages and Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, leading to concerns about the future of these subjects in Scotland’s schools.

Read more...

Related Links

Review of senior phase (Scottish Government, 16 September 2019)

Education review ordered amid subject choice concern (BBC, 16 September 2019)

Call for help!

12 September 2019 (SCILT)

You will no doubt have seen in the news the terrible situation our colleagues at Woodmill High School in Fife are facing. Janet Monaghan, the Principal Teacher of Languages there, has asked SCILT if the languages community could help her replace some of the materials that she and her colleagues have lost in the fire. Janet is determined to keep the learning experience for her young people as normal as possible and this is our chance to help her ensure that her youngsters don’t miss out. If you can help, please email us at scilt@strath.ac.uk with details of any materials you’re able to share with her. In particular she is focusing on the senior phase and is looking for the following resources:

  • A4 plastic wallets
  • Foolscap folders
  • CD Players
  • DVDS (French/German/Italian films or video clips)
  • Verb Tables book (French / German)
  • French, German and Italian pocket dictionaries
  • French Hachette or Collins Grammar plus dictionaries (for Higher)
  • German Collins and Grammar dictionary
  • Plastic boxes (for storage)
  • French & German literature e.g. le petit prince
  • Show me boards/erasers/pens
  • External Hard drives
  • Voice recorders
  • USBs
  • Notebooks/tablets
  • Studio 1, 2,3
  • Echo 1,2,3
  • Stimmt 1,2,3
  • Study Guides - Nat 5 and Higher French and German

SCILT will be in touch about collating and distributing the materials to her.

Work experience opportunity at Radio Lingua

13 September 2019 (Radio Lingua)

Radio Lingua is a leading publisher of language resources including the award-winning Coffee Break French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese courses and the High Five courses for primary. Through our podcasts and strong presence on social media we strive to provide a high quality learning experience for a worldwide community of learners, delivering over 2.5 million language lessons every month. Our team is based in Glasgow and we work with a local and remote team of native speakers and teachers to produce our resources.

As part of our outreach programme we are delighted to offer a work experience opportunity to students currently in S6. This will take place from Monday 21st to Friday 25th October 2019 and aims to allow young people with an interest in languages first hand experience of a dynamic workplace where languages are used on a daily basis. There will be a total of six places available.

Before submitting an application, pupils must ensure they meet the following criteria:

• must be intending to study a language at university after leaving school.

• must currently be in S6.

• must have successfully passed at least one Higher in a language in S5.

• must live within one hour’s commuting distance from our Glasgow city centre offices and will be responsible for making their own way to and from the office for a 9:30 start and 4:30 finish each day.

• must have permission from school to be out of school for the duration of this five-day programme.

Interested students should complete the application form on our website by Friday 27 September at the following link: https://radiolingua.com/work-experience-2019/

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Translanguaging has made it to Scottish primary education and it is alive and 'coleando'!

11 September 2019 (Creative Multilingualism)

All the World is Our Stage: primary pupils never lost in translanguaging, a multilingual performance showcasing heritage and school languages, has brought pupils and teachers from Whinhill Primary School together with actress-singer, Rebecca Cameron, and creative language learning social enterprise, The Language Hub.

Warm and welcome feelings and emotions engulfed me the first time I set foot in Whinhill. Bilingual signs in English and Gaelic adorn the school, leaving no wall silent, and as you venture inside, the building also speaks through imagery and words in French. What a pleasure to the eye, and a delicacy for the soul!

The school currently offers Gaelic and French under the 1+2 language approach to language learning, and hosts a Gaelic Medium Education (GME) unit allowing pupils to learn through the medium of Scottish Gaelic.

The multilingual realities of our pupils is not always acknowledged, or even recognised, in the school context. English as the societal and school language can stifle pupils’ heritage languages. This project sought to combat that by raising awareness about multilingualism and celebrating linguistic diversity through the performing arts. 

Visit the website to read the full article, which contains links to the resources used in the project.

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Scottish Book Trust searching for teenage writers and illustrators

10 September 2019 (The Edinburgh Reporter)

Scottish Book Trust has announced that applications are open for their What’s Your Story? programme. Now in its fifth year, the scheme has helped around 30 young Scots to develop writing, illustration and performance projects. 

14 – 17 year olds living in Scotland are encouraged to apply for an all expenses paid opportunity to learn, grow and create as a writer or illustrator.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said : “Nurturing new young talent in the Scottish literary scene is so important and Scottish Book Trust is proud to launch the fifth year of What’s Your Story, focused on supporting young people.  The programme offers a truly unique opportunity and we urge parents and teachers to encourage the teens in their lives with a passion for writing or illustration to apply.”

[..] The Gaelic Books Council funds a Gaelic-language place. 

Applications close on 27 November 2019, and can be made online.

Read more...

World Wide Napier magazine - call for submissions

10 September 2019 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Building on the success of the first three issues, Worldwide Napier, a magazine in foreign languages designed by our language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its fourth issue.

Students from secondary schools, colleges and other universities are invited to submit articles, written individually or collaboratively in the language they are studying. The magazine will be published by the end of December and will be available in digital and hard copy format, distributed for free in Scottish schools, Edinburgh cafés and cultural institutions.

See the attached flyer for more information. Submission deadline is 1 November 2019.

Related Files

SQA Advanced Higher Spanish and French Course Reports

9 September 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published Advanced Higher Spanish and French course reports for the 2019 exam diet.

The reports provide information on candidates’ performance.

Visit the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage to access the reports.  

Read more...

SCHOLAR Modern Languages online tutor sessions

4 September 2019 (SCHOLAR)

Our upcoming Online Tutor Sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages for the academic year 2019/20 have been scheduled.

For more information please visit the SCHOLAR website.

Read more...

Educate yourself in the cognitive and educative benefits of learning Gaelic at Bòrd na Gàidhlig

4 September 2019 (The Herald)

The discussion around the Gaelic language in Scotland has tended to veer towards the romantic, the ethereal, and occasionally the political. It can certainly fall under the banner of misinformation from kneejerk detractors.

What is rarely considered are the considerable cognitive and educative benefits of learning Gaelic or learning in the Gaelic medium.

Based in Inverness, Bòrd na Gàidhlig was established to promote the development of the language in Scotland. Its CEO is Shona McLennan, who explains that like many minority languages Gaelic has been in decline, but the mission of Bòrd na Gàidhlig is to promote Gaelic language, Gaelic education, and Gaelic culture with a view to reinvigorating the language.

“One of the most effective ways to do this is to provide education in the medium of the language,” says Shona. “Alongside education in the language, pupils also need opportunities to use it outside of the classroom. You need activity around the learning such as sports activities, arts and music.”

Read more...

Education Scotland Gaelic resources

30 August 2019 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has recently published the Gaelic version of the Slavery and Human Trafficking resources. The Gaelic versions of the Review of Family Learning and the Review of Learning at Home are also now available.

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

26 August 2019 (Yakety Yak)

Improve your foreign language conversation in a local café, in a small group with an experienced tutor. 

We meet

  • in the relaxed atmosphere of local cafes and bistros in Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • in small groups of similar level of fluency
  • with a tutor who is a native speaker for each group 
  • each session normally has a minimum of 2 tutors to cater for most abilities
  • No need to book - just drop in. However, if it is your first time with us, we recommend you phone or email us to discuss your level and the best session for you first

Conversation classes commence from 2 September 2019. Visit the website for details of sessions running in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

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Our World film making project 2019-20

23 August 2019 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based film making project for S3 - S6 pupils run by the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET). It's designed to complement the curriculum for excellence and attainment challenge by providing a free project, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Participants submit a storyboard outlining the film they propose to make. This year's films should explore the idea of global citizenship and touch on one or more of the following themes:

  • Migration and welcome
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Trade

The film must also include the use of a language other than English. Entry deadline is 3 December 2019.

Schools wishing to take part should visit the SEET website for more information and to register.

Read more...

What are the most popular subjects in Scotland?

23 August 2019 (TESS)

Earlier this month the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) published annual data on qualifications at all levels.

Tes Scotland has examined the figures to find the most popular subjects at Higher level in 2019, a list that includes all 27 subjects with at least 1,000 entries. Also included are four subjects which had more than 1,000 entries in 2016 – the first year that only the new version of the Higher was run – but which have now dipped below 1,000 entries.

In brackets are the number of Higher entries for each of the 31 subjects in 2016. This offers a better comparison that the figures for 2015, the first year in which the new version of Higher was offered, as for that year only the old Higher was also available.

Finally, below that, we also take a look at which subjects are losing popularity at Higher level, and which are on the rise, by calculating the percentage difference between entries in 2016 and 2019 for each of the 31 subjects.

The figures suggest that social subjects are being squeezed, with geography, in particular, seeing a fall in entries of almost 16 per cent between 2016 and 2019.

But there are even bigger falls in some subjects, including computing science (27.5 per cent) and French (25.4 per cent) and – the biggest fall proportionally – philosophy (34.8 per cent).

Few subjects have seen rises in entries, with Spanish among those to increase (17.5 per cent), although by far the biggest rise proportionally is in politics (55.3%).

For context, overall entries fell from 197,750 in 2016 to 185,914 in 2019, a drop of almost 6 per cent. In italics are all the subjects where the percentage drop in entries is Higher than the overall percentage drop in entries across all subjects.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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SCILT vacancy - Professional Development Officer

22 August 2019 (SCILT)

SCILT requires a Professional Development Officer to advise and support primary schools across Scotland with language learning and teaching. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward Scotland’s agenda for languages at a strategic level.

The Professional Development Officer will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures for teachers of languages. This would include, for example, leading professional learning, managing projects, assuming responsibility for national awards/competitions and other language related events.

It is expected that the postholder will support practitioners in turning policy into practice to create a positive impact on learners. This will be based on identification of practitioners’ needs, with particular reference to the aims of the National Improvement Framework, the 1+2 languages policy and Developing the Young Workforce. The postholder would need extensive experience of leading recent modern language initiatives in a primary school context. Established expertise in creative approaches to learning, teaching and assessment is essential.

Ideally, the post holder will have experience of external partnership working with the aim of developing interesting contexts for learning and intercultural awareness. The successful candidate will be competent in the use of digital technologies and will have the ability to work not only on her/his own initiative but also as part of a team. Excellent organisational, ICT and communication skills are essential, as is an ability to be flexible and responsive to our stakeholders’ needs.

Visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy portal for further information and to apply. Closing date: 3 September 2019.

Read more...

Languages for All

20 August 2019 (University of Edinburgh)

The Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh offers short courses in Arabic, BSL, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish and 13 other languages.

Courses are two hours a week over ten weeks. Enrolment for Autumn courses (30 September – 6 December) is now open online.

Read more...

SQA specimen papers for Advanced Higher Modern Languages

19 August 2019 (SQA)

SQA has updated Listening and Discursive Writing and Reading and Translation specimen question papers for Advanced Higher Modern Languages.

The specimen question paper updates can be accessed on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages page.

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Beyond the Panda resources - update

19 August 2019 (RZSS)

The China Mobile Library panda packs are now available online and free! Although the expert visits and outreach have been free of charge since November 2018, the resources in the panda packs used to be either on loan or available to purchase. They are now available online to all - beyondthepanda.org.uk under the China Mobile Library section. 

Associated expert visits and outreach sessions are still free and include different materials and resources which are only available on booking. These enhance the learning from the panda packs. Free teaching training sessions can also be booked. See the attached document for more information and visit the website.

Read more...

Related Files

Discovery Film Festival 2019

15 August 2019 (Discovery Film Festival)

Discovery is Scotland's International Film Festival for children and young people. Taking place from 19 October to 3 November 2019, the Festival is in its sixteenth year and brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. With several native language films on offer, language learners have a great opportunity to test their listening and comprehension skills.

Teachers visit the Festival website to take a look at the programme for schools. The programme contains information about associated CPD sessions taking place during August and September which you can attend prior to your school visit.

Read more...

RCS Haven e-Bulletin – August 2019

15 August 2019 (RCS Haven)

The Russian Centre in Scotland (RCS) latest news bulletin is now available to view online. It contains information on classes for adults and children who are interested in studying Russian language, literature and culture as well as news about upcoming events. 

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Two Galloway writers receive Scots Language Publication grants to support their work in Scots

14 August 2019 (Daily Record)

Two Galloway writers are among nine scrievers nationwide to be awarded funding to support their work in Scots.

Stuart A Paterson from Kirkbean and Susi Briggs from Gatehouse have both received Scots Language Publication grants.

The scheme, funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Scottish Book Trust, was created by the Scots Language Resource Network to support Scots publishers and to encourage Scots writers.

Read more...

Inclusion in Practice: The CIRCLE Framework - Secondary

13 August 2019 (Education Scotland)

Inclusion in Practice is a badged professional learning module which has been designed to support equitable professional learning on inclusive practice for education practitioners in secondary schools and local authorities in Scotland.​

It is based on The CIRCLE Framework, a collaboration between practitioners in Edinburgh City, Queen Margaret University and NHS Lothian, that has been adapted for modular learning by Education Scotland.​​

Visit the Education Scotland website for more information about the resource and how to use it to improve practice.

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Scottish Gaelic Awards 2019

13 August 2019 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

The Scottish Gaelic Awards reward all aspects of the Gaelic language and culture across the length and breadth of the country.

The Daily Record, alongside headline sponsor Bòrd na Gàidhlig are proud to host the most prestigious night of the year within the Gaelic community calendar. Celebrating Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

The awards are now in their seventh year and attended by over 200 guests including finalists, event sponsors and members of the Gaelic community. The event itself will be a celebration embracing traditional and modern entertainment.

The Scottish Gaelic Awards will take place on Tuesday 19 November at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel and returning to host the event will be Scottish Broadcaster and Producer, Cathy MacDonald.

Visit the website for more information and to view the award categories. Submit your nominations by 25 September 2019.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic Awards: hail the Gaels (Daily Record, 13 August 2019)

How Twitter is helping the Scots language thrive in the 21st century

13 August 2019 (The Conversation)

Rude, crude and extremely funny, “Scottish Twitter” has garnered much attention in recent years for its uniquely Celtic wit – and for the specific ways it uses language.

Journalist Eve Livingston’s recent article for The Face examines the many social and cultural features of Scottish Twitter. But the fact it has provided a medium for written Scots language to evolve in a way that wasn’t possible before the advent of social media is equally fascinating.

Scots is officially recognised as one of the minority languages of Scotland. It has existed and thrived for centuries in writing as well as speech. From poets Robert Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid and Sheena Blackhall to novelist Irvine Welsh, the language has a rich literary tradition, and even has its own dictionary. More recently, it has moved into the digital world, finding itself unexpectedly and enthusiastically embraced on social media.

Read more...

How to make children citizens of the world

9 August 2019 (TES)

One head explains how a partnership with a school in Palestine has helped pupils to gain a new perspective on the world.

In the 21 years that I have worked at Lockerbie Primary School, we have developed our international curriculum to help change the perception of what most people think of when they hear Lockerbie – the air tragedy in 1988 – and instead showcase our town to the world in a more positive light and help broaden pupils’ horizons, too.

We’ve done this in numerous ways, from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, which provides funding to schools for international activities, to working on a number of British Council eTwinning projects, most notably Hands of the World, which brings children of the world together through music and Makaton.

But the international connection that has sparked the most joy over the years has been our link with the Al Shurooq School for Blind Children in Palestine.

The partnership began in 2005 after a series of emails between me and Al Shurooq’s founder, Helen Shehadeh. Our local minister, who met her on a visit to Bethlehem, introduced me to her.

By the end of the year, as pupils, parents and members of the wider school community looked on, I was using my mobile phone and a microphone to talk to Helen during our Christmas assembly. Two of our P7 pupils, aged 11, then spoke with two pupils from Al Shurooq about their respective schools and how they celebrate the festive season, before wishing each other a “happy and peaceful Christmas”. It was one of the most moving moments in my whole career.

Around five years ago we moved on to focused, whole-school joint curricular projects after Ruba Aburdeinah was appointed as the new director at Al Shurooq.

These mini-projects have primarily centred on the United Nations’ International Day of Peace in September. Every year each of my 12 primary classes, plus our nursery classes and Learning Centre for children aged 2-18 with complex and continuing needs, exchanges work on the theme of peace with a different partner school from around the world. Last year, we exchanged items with schools in 15 different countries, with our Learning Centre pupils making “peace postcards” to send to Al Shurooq.

Music has proved to be a unifying force, too, with students using the World Voice Songbook to learn about each other’s cultures through traditional songs in each other’s language.

We have also enhanced pupils’ understanding of life in Palestine through the Culture in a Box project. This eTwinning initiative asks pupils to choose 10 items they think best represent their culture and explain why. These items then go into a shoebox, which is exchanged with boxes from schools in other countries.

Refugee Week is also an important focus for us, once again prompted by our connection with Al Shurooq. This year we took part in Refugee Week’s Ration Challenge, which asked people to eat and drink the same as a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan for a week. Our class teachers also led themed activities throughout the week and we invited parents and the wider community to attend a Time for Reflection assembly.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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French classes in Edinburgh

8 August 2019 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse is now enrolling for their autumn term classes. Unsure of your level? Take the free online placement test. Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

SQA results day 2019

6 August 2019 (TESS)

Higher computing entries fall by 21%. Setting aside computing, the sciences fared better in terms of changes in uptake than the social subjects.

French experienced a 10% dip in entries, whilst Spanish saw a 9% increase from last year.

Read more...

OU/SCILT primary languages course

31 May 2019 (SCILT/OU)

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for the OU/SCILT primary languages course, which will be running again from October 2019. In light of positive feedback and popularity of the first year of the course, we are now also delighted to offer a second year, post-beginners’ course. The latter would be suitable for those who have successfully completed year 1 and wish to continue their studies, or for those who are looking to begin studying at a more advanced level.

  • The courses will run from October 2019 to July 2020, and will develop language and pedagogy skills; language learning is provided by the Open University and pedagogy is provided by SCILT.  The courses are aligned to the Scottish curriculum and support the 1+2 languages approach.
  • Both courses are delivered online with two opportunities to attend face-to-face day schools. 
  • Learning is very flexible and participants can study at a time and place of their choosing.
  • Each course carries a fee of £252, reflecting the input and student support for the language and pedagogy strands from both organisations.

Funding may be sponsored through your school or Local Authority who can register on your behalf.   Initial registration information must be submitted to the OU by Monday 17 June 2019 and LAs should contact Scotland-Languages@open.ac.uk.  
Students also have the option to fund the fee themselves. In this case, an interested teacher should contact the OU directly at
Scotland-Languages@open.ac.uk.

Here is some further information:

Beginners level

  • will be offered in a choice of four languages - French, German, Spanish and Mandarin plus study of primary pedagogy with direct application in the classroom.
  • takes students to the end of the equivalent to level A1 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages.
  • allows students to gain 15 university credits for the language study.
  • also gives students the option to gain GTCS recognition for the pedagogy study; all students will receive a certificate on successful completion from SCILT.
  • study hours will be approximately five hours per week, including time spent on the direct application of the new skills in the classroom.

Post-beginners level

  • teachers who have started studying one language in the beginners level of the course would need to continue studying the same language at post-beginners level.
  • teachers who already have some basic knowledge in one of the four languages can directly enrol on the post-beginners level course to further develop their skills in that language and learn about primary languages pedagogy (without having to have studied beginners level).
  • will follow the same format as the beginners level course and will be offered in the same four languages (French, German, Mandarin and Spanish).
  • will teach primary languages pedagogy in more depth and cover:
    • the skills of writing and reading,
    • IDL with a special focus on outdoor learning as well as links with other key subject areas through CLIL,
    • learning and teaching of languages in multilingual contexts/communities.
  • will have the same:
    • number of study hours,
    • assessment structure,
    • accreditation with 15 university credits,
    • optional GTCS recognition for the pedagogy strand, as above ;
  • in their language study, students will reach the equivalent of the end of level A2 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages (end of post-beginner level).
  • after completing both courses, students would then be in a good position to go on to study one of the standard language courses at the OU should they want to improve their knowledge of the language even further.

Course codes are as follows:

Beginners level

LXT192 French

LXT193 German

LXT197 Mandarin

LXT194 Spanish

Post-beginners level

LXT191 (language choice will come as a second step once students have registered)

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

7 November 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages start again on Monday 12 November 2018. At 6pm it will be Higher, and the session will be on translation. It will be accompanied by worksheets sent out in advance to teachers for pupils to help prepare for the interactive parts of the session. Languages addressed are French, German and Spanish at both levels. Access is by: http://heriot-watt.adobeconnect.com/scholartutorsessions/, and you do not need a SCHOLAR password to attend, just log in as a guest.  

The new ‘Directed Writing’  for Higher will form a session on 26 November, again at 6pm.

Advanced Higher translation and the overall purpose question will form a session on 3 December.

Read more...

Slump in school language learning hits Scottish universities

6 November 2018 (The Herald)

The number of students from Scotland learning a modern language at university has fallen by more than 500 in the past five years.

New figures show 3,400 students chose languages at a Scottish university in 2016/17 compared to nearly 4,000 in 2012/13.

The decline, which shows numbers are falling for German, French, Russian and Spanish, has sparked fears Scotland will become increasingly isolated in the world, particularly following Brexit.

This summer, opposition politicians called on the Scottish Government to launch an inquiry into the decline in the number of pupils studying modern languages at school.

The drop has been blamed partly on curriculum reforms which mean pupils experience a broader education in the first three years of secondary.

That means exam subjects are chosen a year later than previously with a shorter time to prepare - resulting in some subjects getting squeezed out.

Professor Vicente Perez de Leon, Head of the School of Modern Languages at Glasgow University, said the school squeeze was hitting university recruitment.

And he argued language learning at school should be protected and resourced to ensure numbers increase.

“Languages are something that can open possibilities for employment abroad or having better jobs here,” he said.

“They can open minds and allow students to make connections with new people, new cultures and new literature. It should be a priority within the curriculum.”

Dr Dan Tierney, an independent languages expert, said the decline was also fuelled by the closure of some university departments.

Read more...

Language Trends Scotland

5 November 2018 (SCILT)

SCILT has published Language Trends Scotland 2012-2018.

Finding include:

  • Entries at Higher in Modern Languages have recently experienced a drop in entries but are still above 2012 levels. Relative to the S5-S6 cohort, however, there has been an increase.
  • Entries at Advanced Higher in Modern Languages are on an upward trend overall, with a slight decline in 2018. Relative to the S6 cohort, uptake has also increased.
  • Entries at Advanced Higher in the lesser studied languages (Gaelic Learners, Italian and Mandarin) have been variable.
  • Entries below Higher in Modern Languages dropped significantly after 2012, the year which marked the official end of the 'Languages for All policy. Relative to the S4-S6 cohort, languages have higher percentage uptake than two of the three sciences (Biology, Physics), with only Chemistry showing a percentage increase.

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SCAT - Scotland Catalan Film Festival 2018

5 November 2018 (SCAT)

Cinemaattic’s Catalan Film Festival returns to Scotland bigger than ever with ten days celebrating Catalan culture.

The festival runs from 2-5 November in Glasgow and 13-18 November in Edinburgh. Scotland Catalan Film Festival is back with a new name – SCAT –  and an extended programme of films where music, poetry and performance will also be part of this year’s edition. 

Visit the website for full details.

Read more...

An Comunn Gaidhealach's newsletter

1 November 2018 (An Comunn Gaidhealach)

The organisers of the Royal National Mòd have published their latest newsletter which is available to view online.

Read more...

La Jolie Ronde free trials

29 October 2018 (La Jolie Ronde)

FREE TRIALS available of La Jolie Ronde's two award winning French and Spanish resources and classes.

La Jolie Ronde Languages For Children is a leading early language learning organisation offering a proven method of teaching young children French and Spanish. La Jolie Ronde’s award winning programmes are unique, modern and of the highest quality. FREE TRIALS on their resources are available as follows:

P1-P3 - Little Languages Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

Little Languages is a unique resource for introducing languages to P1-P3. It provides the perfect solution for introducing some of the different languages and cultures from around the world. To support the non-specialist and as a guide to aid the expert language teacher, Little Languages enables you to start teaching straightaway!

Activities demonstrated in French and Spanish:

  • Additional vocabulary & songs in Italian, Chinese, Hindi and African Shona
  • Includes fun, play-based activities including IWB material
  • Real life DVD clips featuring children from around the world

Product contains detailed lesson plans in a sturdy ring binder & software featuring:

  • Lesson plans
  • Resources
  • IWB activities and games
  • Colourful classroom wall frieze (5 x 2m lengths)
  • DVD clips
  • Also includes French and Spanish traditional and original songs plus songs from other languages
P4-P7 - French and Spanish Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

La Jolie Ronde’s award winning resource contains everything you need to help plan and implement your policy for teaching a language in one go. The resource is a flexible four-year programme providing support to teachers with no previous experience of teaching languages and a guide for the more experienced, who can modify to suit. One of the biggest benefits of the resource is that everything is already pre-prepared and planned, so you can literally start teaching straightaway!

  • Perfect for the non-specialist or an aid for the more experienced languages teacher
  • Split into two schemes – for years P4-P5 and P6-P7
  • Plenty of material to fill two years and four years
  • Pre-prepared lessons, divided into short sessions for flexibility
  • Comprehensive and detailed lesson notes
FREE French or Spanish Class

Years of development, dedication and experience in the sector of early language learning, La Jolie Ronde has become the market leader, committed to offering the best possible start to young learners. Through their loyal network of over 560 tutors, who teach in over 1,660 centres, they currently teach in the region of 20,500 children. To find your nearest French or Spanish class and book your FREE TASTER CLASS, visit La Jolie Ronde website.

For your FREE RESOURCE OR CLASS TRIALS simply email your request to La Jolie Ronde quoting SCILT - email schools@lajolieronde.co.uk

Euroquiz

25 October 2018 (SEET)

SEET is delighted to announce that registration is now open for Euroquiz 2018-19!

Euroquiz is an annual project open to all P6 pupils across Scotland, which sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world. Subjects covered include languages, history, geography, culture and European affairs. Heats take place in every local authority from January to March, with the winning teams from all areas going forward to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in May.

See the attached flyer to find out more about how your school can get involved and visit the website to watch the Euroquiz Highlights Film for a taste of the Euroquiz journey, including interviews with previous participants and teachers.

Read more...

Related Files

New session French courses in Glasgow

25 October 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is now enrolling for Term B courses running from 12 November 2018 to 26 January 2019. This includes a new class for complete beginners on Monday evenings.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Gaelic Medium Leadership Award for Teachers & Education Professionals

25 October 2018 (Social Enterprise Academy/SCEL)

There are still a few spaces left on the bespoke leadership programme endorsed by SCEL, designed to meet the needs of emerging leaders in Gaelic Medium Education and Gaelic Learner Education. 

We will explore specific leadership issues faced by the sector, such as implementing CfE, supporting ASN pupils and managing transitions, all within the context of contemporary resource challenges.

You will gain an invaluable insight into your own leadership style and qualities, and a range of tools and techniques to use in your future career.

The programme is for teachers and educational professionals who would like to gain confidence in their ability to be effective, progressive, and self-aware leaders, potentially progressing their careers into head teacher or principal roles.

It will be delivered in Gaelic medium with learning materials provided in both Gaelic and English.

Read more...

Gaelic is the talk of the town for Scottish tourists

25 October 2018 (Press and Journal)

Gaelic could add more than £82 million per year to tourism, Visit Scotland revealed yesterday.

Cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop officially launched The Gaelic Tourism Strategy for Scotland 2018-2023 at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh alongside Lord Thurso, chairman of VisitScotland and Shona Niclllinnein, chief executive of Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

The five-year plan is aimed at boosting the use of Gaelic in the tourism industry and using the language as a “unique selling point” to market to visitors.

The strategy will focus on using the language in everyday use with tourists, and developing the major benefits to businesses that come from the culture and arts associated with Gaeldom.

It will see the introduction of Gaelic ambassadors in every area of Scotland, and “Gaelic spoken here” badges for businesses, in a bid to promote the language to visitors.

Read more...

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018: The fantastic finalists are revealed

24 October 2018 (Daily Record)

The finalists have been announced for this year’s Daily Record and Bòrd na Gàidhlig Scottish Gaelic Awards.

The awards pay tribute to all aspects of Gaelic culture, education and language.

And the winners will be revealed on Wednesday, November 14, in Glasgow.

Read more...

Calls for Scots children to be taught Chinese and Urdu

24 October 2018 (The Scotsman)

A new study suggests more pupils could learn Chinese and Urdu as part of a shake up in learning foreign languages.

The independent think tank, Reform Scotland, has published a report calling for a fresh approach to be taken towards the education of languages in Scottish schools.

The report indicates a practical model of learning should be introduced to help adapt to changing demand.

The number of Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) entries in “traditionally taught” languages has decreased over the last 20 years, with entries for higher grade French down by 18.2% and entries for German at the same level reduced by 58.4%.

In contrast, entries for higher Spanish exams increased by 219.8% increased over the same period, while Chinese entries have increased by 17.8% in the past two years.

Reform Scotland argue this highlights a changing global economy, with Asia seen as a growing economic market.

The report also calls for an end to distinctions between “community” and “modern” languages so that learning reflects the increasing number of communities in Scotland speaking languages such as Polish, Arabic and Urdu.

Reform Scotland Director Chris Deerin said: “If we want to see genuine growth in language skills in Scotland, rather than just paying lip service to the idea, we need to rethink our approach.

“There is a danger the languages currently on offer within the education system are not keeping up with Scottish or global society.

“We need to think much more freely - as many other countries do - about how best to equip ourselves to thrive in the modern global economy. Brexit, the shift of power from West to East, and Scotland’s pressing need to secure greater economic growth, all demand fresh ideas.”

Read more...

Youth committee to lead Mod into the future

16 October 2018 (Press and Journal)

A youth committee is working with An Comunn Gàidhealach to shape the Mods of the future.

The group was set up this year giving a nod to The National Year of the Young Person – and so far has set its sights on modernising the way in which the historic organisation communicates with the public to secure its future.

The committee of three – Shannon MacLean, 21, Padruig Morrison, 22 and Katie MacInnes 18 – is supported by 25-year-old Alison Bruce who is also employed by An Comunn Gàidhealach.

Miss MacLean, from Mull, said: “Being on the committee has been very interesting. Our main goal is to get more young people to come to the mod and get them involved in local mods around the country.

“This is my third mod in Dunoon, and it is certainly the competitions that have helped me, as a non-native speaker, take the language seriously.

“My job is to make sure it survives for a long time yet.”

Read more...

Related Links

Top Gaelic learner blooms at the Mòd (The Scotsman, 17 October 2018)

Gaelic Ambassador of the Year announced at Royal National Mod

13 October 2018 (BBC)

A 22-year-old singer from Skye has been named Gaelic Ambassador of the Year, as the Royal National Mod gets under way.

Eilidh Cormack, from Portree, said she was "absolutely delighted".

The Gaelic cultural festival began in Dunoon on Friday night, with a special celebration honouring Scotland's Year of Young People.

Over the next eight days there will be more than 200 competitions and events in Highland dancing, sport, literature, drama, Gaelic music and song.

Read more...

Book Week Scotland 2018

12 October 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November. This year's event is taking place from Monday 19 – Sunday 25 November 2018.

There are a range of events, some with specific appeal to Gaelic and Scots readers. Visit the website to find out more on these and other ways you can get involved. Why not host a foreign language reading club or book sale?

Read more...

Our World film making project 2018-19

11 October 2018 (SEET)

SEET’s popular Our World film making project has now launched for the 2018-19 year! Our World uses film making and language learning as a means to help pupils explore the themes of LfS and the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s totally free, and all you have to do is sign up.

The project has been running for the past 6 years, has a proven track record of encouraging languages uptake at higher secondary levels, and is open to any team of four from S3 - S6 (no previous film making knowledge is required). All teams have to do to enter is come up with a creative idea for a film, based on one of this year's themes. Then, with SEET’s help teams put that idea into storyboard form and send it to us with an audio or video clip explaining it. The deadline for storyboard submissions is 5th December 2018.

Themes:

As part of a team of four, come up with a creative idea for a short film about being a citizen of the world. Your team should consider one of the following themes to get you started:

  • Sustainable Tourism (going on holiday, exploring other countries and cultures and making a positive impact on the environment)
  • Migration and welcome (refugees, moving abroad, how people are treated)
  • Trade (how businesses work in different countries, importing and exporting)

All films must include the use of at least one language other than English - but the more the merrier!

After all the entries are submitted, 18 teams from across Scotland will be invited to one of three regional film making workshop days (roughly 6 teams per workshop) where they will get the opportunity to make their film a reality. Pupils are given technology and professional film-making training on the day to help them, so don't worry if they don't have experience - all they need are their ideas. 

Throughout the project SEET staff are happy to make trips to schools to work with classes and answer any questions you might have. 

If you'd like to register or sign up a team visit the website, where you can also hear previous participants talk about their experience of the project, OR contact Madeleine McGirk at SEET (madeleine@seet.org.uk).

Read more...

Inspiring schools: John Paul II Primary, Castlemilk

11 October 2018 (British Council)

Every day at British Council Scotland we hear about how international learning benefits Scottish schools, teachers and pupils. Making this happen is a core part of our work, and we are keen to spread the message far and wide.

Last month, we visited John Paul II Primary School in Castlemilk, where a partnership with a school in Spain has had a powerful effect on pupils. We also heard from our partners at Glasgow City Council, which is a leading example of good practice when it comes to local authorities creating international and intercultural opportunities for their schools.  

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Edinburgh Council to open new Gaelic schools by 2024

10 October 2018 (The Scotsman)

The city council will press ahead with proposals to open new primary and secondary Gaelic schools despite a “problematic” shortage of teachers who speak the language.

The authority hopes to open a new primary school in 2023 where pupils are taught through the medium of Gaelic - while a secondary school could follow by 2024. A host of short-term improvements will also be taken forward.

The council is facing a growing demand for Gaelic education but council officers admit that at the Bun-Sgoil Taobh na Pairce primary school, “as the school has grown, the recruitment of sufficient Gaelic-speaking teachers has proven to be problematic.”

Conservative education spokesman, Cllr Callum Laidlaw, said: “Clearly, there’s a demand for it in Edinburgh for primary expansion. There’s a problem with the citywide catchment area for the current primary school with transport, which is provided by the council. If we move forward with any expansion of primary GME, I would like to see that geographic problem tackled by building it in the south west of the city.

“As it stands, the plan demonstrates ambition rather than reality. There’s a significant recruitment challenge the council has to address first before it moves forward. We need to focus on delivering the six priority high schools in the Wave 4 funding before we commit to the GME secondary school.”

The primary school in Bonnington now has 20 Gaelic-speaking teachers. At James Gillespie’s High School, the city’s Gaelic Medium Education (GME) secondary school, a recruitment drive has helped fill vacancies – but fewer lessons than expected have been taught in Gaelic.

Read more...

Gaelic centre plan has backing of Inverness public

4 October 2018 (Inverness Courier)

A survey has shown that there is significant public support for a new Gaelic cultural centre in Inverness.

The research, which was carried out by the Alba Heritage Trust with the aim of establishing the level of interest in a project celebrating Gaelic heritage, was met with “overwhelming” backing from members of the public.

Alba Heritage Trust director Alastair Forbes says the reaction has from businesses and individuals across the board has been significant.

“We are delighted to have had so many responses to the survey,” he said.

“The reaction from the public and private sectors and from members of the community for the establishment of a Gaelic cultural centre has been extremely positive which has given us great confidence in moving forward with the project.”

Read more...

National Gaelic Schools Debate 2018

3 October 2018 (Deasbad)

The announcement of the preliminary rounds of the National Gaelic Schools Debate competition has been made and the 2018 competition looks set to be another excellent year! The first two rounds will be held at the Town Hall in Stornoway, on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th of November 2018. Last year, for the first time ever the first rounds from Stornoway were available online, through e-Sgoil’s You Tube channel and the Deasbad Committee will be making sure that this year’s first round will also be live streamed to a potentially global audience!

Sixteen teams from fourteen schools are due to compete in the 2018 competition. Following on from the positive feedback received from the new competition format, all the schools will participate in debates over the two days, with the four teams with the highest points, across the two days, progressing to the final stages which will be held in Edinburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday the 27th and 28th of November 2018. The Committee welcome Agnes Rennie and Boyd Robertson who will join Iain Stephen Morrison as judges.

Read more...

Gaelic Medium Education promotional film previews at An t-Alltan 2018

3 October 2018 (Highland Council)

The 10th annual conference for Gaelic education practitioners, which took place in Aviemore last week, has been hailed a great success.

Around 200 delegates from all over the country attended the conference, held in the MacDonald Aviemore Conference Centre last Wednesday and Thursday (September 26 and 27), which was organised by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government.

Through a programme of talks and workshops, the conference provides delegates with an overview of current best practice and a look at new initiatives for teaching and learning. It caters for staff from the Early Years sector as well as primary and secondary schools.

This year, the conference had a focus that was very much on the whole learner journey through the Gaelic Medium Education system, right from the beginning with Cròileagan and play groups through to developing the young workforce.

A powerful new film which has been created to promote Gaelic Medium Education was shown for the first time at the conference. The film has been made by Fàs Foghlaim – Highland Council’s social media vehicle for promoting Gaelic education – and will be made available to the public later in the year but delegates got a welcome preview of it.

Entitled ‘Gaelic Medium Education – A New Perspective’, the film lasts eight minutes and features testimonies from GME parents and teachers as well as perspectives from leading bilingualism academic Professor Antonella Sorace, of the University of Edinburgh, and Tidelines singer and songwriter Robert Robertson, who came through GME himself.

With 90 per cent of connections in the brain being formed by the age of three, the role of Cròileagan and other Gaelic-speaking pre-school groups has long been recognised for their importance in getting learners started on their journey to bilingualism.

As such, the Early Years sector is seen as an important part of the Alltan conference and representatives from that sector said they gained a lot from this year’s event.

Read more...

New language hub which helps dementia sufferers to open on Glasgow’s south side

3 October 2018 (Glasgow Live)

A new language hub which will help empower older adults living with dementia in Glasgow has opened on the south side of the city.

Lingo Flamingo, based on Deanston Drive in the Shawlands area, will be offering a selection of immersive foreign language courses for all ages.

And all profits from the classes will be used to fund dementia-friendly classes in care homes across Glasgow and beyond.

Read more...

Highland schools come out top at Shinty@the Bught

1 October 2018 (Highland Council)

Iomain Cholmcille – the Gaelic Shinty Project – has worked in partnership with The Highland Council’s Gaelic Team to organise a six aside national Shinty event for P4 to P7 Gaelic Medium pupils from schools across Scotland.

In August Iomain Cholmchille announced funding of £8000, from Bord na Gàidhlig in order to help develop the use of Gaelic in youth Shinty. The project was launched at Bun- Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh and pupils were presented with new Gaelic strips for the school Shinty team. The funding for community projects aims to build on Iomain Cholmcille’s successful work, in partnership with the Highland Council’s Gaelic Team running Cupa Iomain na h-Òige.

Cupa Iomain na h-Òige – Youth Shinty Cup - is in its third year and although based in the Highlands, the competition, which is held entirely through the medium of Gaelic, is open to schools from across Scotland. This year the competition took place at the Bught Park in Inverness which is a national stadium and 14 teams have entered with approximately 100 pupils participating in the event.

Schools from across Scotland entered which include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dingwall, this is the first time that the smaller schools in Skye have taken part.

Iomain Cholmcille is a project dedicated to encouraging the use of Gaelic in the Shinty world and regularly organises international exchanges with Irish-speaking hurling teams for both men and women.

Read more...

Diary of a Wimpy Kid gets bairn again with first ever Scots translation

29 September 2018 (Daily Record)

Teen classic Diary of a Wimpy Kid is to get a braw makeover - being translated into Scots for the first time.

Jeff Kinney’s best-selling book series has been given a Caledonian re-vamp by Itchy Coo, the Scots language imprint for children at Black & White Publishing,

The first book in the series is “Diary o’ a Wimpy Wean”, re-worked by Scots writer Thomas Clark.

In the translation, twelve-year-old hero, Greg Hefley, tells the reader all about his life in modern Scots patter.

Read more...

John Edward: Languages skills essential for global citizens

29 September 2018 (The Scotsman)

Scotland’s independent schools maintain a track record of academic excellence, and this has continued in 2018 with another set of outstanding exam results, which is only strengthened by individual and collective success in sports, art, music and other community endeavours.

With upwards of 30,000 pupils across Scotland, these schools, represented by The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), strive to deliver the best level of service to their pupils and parents.

Independent schools aim to prepare their pupils for further and higher education, their chosen career and their place as global citizens. As an education sector that can design and implement a bespoke school curriculum, we are seeing modern languages continue as a popular and desired subject of choice within schools.

Nelson Mandela said: ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.” This is a powerful reminder that we can’t just rely on English when wanting to build relationships and trust with people from other countries.

From this year’s recent exam results, we can see that languages are topping the league tables with the highest pass rates within independent schools. A total of 68 per cent of pupils who studied foreign languages achieved a Higher grade A.

The data, collected from SCIS’s 74 member schools, showed that 72 per cent of students achieved a Higher grade A in Mandarin, while 72 per cent of those studying German, 69 per cent of those studying French and 63 per cent studying Spanish also achieved an A.

This demonstrates that independent schools in Scotland are supporting foreign languages as vital skills that children and young people will undoubtedly require in the future. Languages now, as a subject choice, are being held in the same regard as STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in independent school curriculums and elsewhere.

Read more...

How the English Failed to Stamp Out the Scots Language

28 September 2018 (Atlas Obscura)

Over the past few decades, as efforts to save endangered languages have become governmental policy in the Netherlands (Frisian), Slovakia (Rusyn) and New Zealand (Maori), among many others, Scotland is in an unusual situation. A language known as Scottish Gaelic has become the figurehead for minority languages in Scotland. This is sensible; it is a very old and very distinctive language (it has three distinct rsounds!), and in 2011 the national census determined that fewer than 60,000 people speak it, making it a worthy target for preservation.

But there is another minority language in Scotland, one that is commonly dismissed. It’s called Scots, and it’s sometimes referred to as a joke, a weirdly spelled and -accented local variety of English. 

Read more...

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

19 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

The schedule of online tutor sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018-19 is now available online.

Read more...

Scottish Parliament draft BSL plan

19 September 2018 (Scottish Parliament)

The Scottish Parliament is looking for feedback on its British Sign Language plan. Contributions invited by 28 September 2018.

Visit the website for more information and to submit your feedback.

Read more...

Scottish Parliament publishes new Gaelic promotion plan

19 September 2018 (Daily Mail)

A new five-year plan for promoting Gaelic has been unveiled by the Scottish Parliament.

The proposals set out how the language will be supported between 2018 and 2022 within Holyrood.

They include providing awareness training to all front-of-house staff, showing it as much respect as English as well as creating a space where the Gaelic business community can raise issues with representatives.

Read more...

Related Links

Parliament publishes new 5-year Gaelic plan (Holyrood, 20 September 2018)

Castles light up in celebration of Gaelic and Scots (The Scotsman, 19 September 2018)

Scottish Parliament publishes new Gaelic promotion plan (Evening Express, 19 September 2018)

The Gaelic Language Promotion Trust

19 September 2018 (GLPT)

The purpose of the Gaelic Language Promotion Trust is to support and promote the teaching, learning and use of the Gaelic language in Scotland. The Gaelic Language Promotion Trust offers assistance to full-time and part-time students taking Scottish Gaelic language courses or courses through Scottish Gaelic. 

Currently, the main activity of the Trust is the provision of grants to students of Gaelic at diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. However, the Trust recognises the importance of Gaelic pre-school provision, and following a generous legacy from Urras Gnìomhachas nan Gàidheal, Career Development Funding is now available for Gaelic students studying for an HNC in Childhood Practice, for Gaelic pre-school workers and GLPS primary teachers wishing to improve their Gaelic language skills. Priority is given to individuals currently employed in Gaelic pre-school establishments who are completing their HNC Childhood Practice modules on a part-time basis and primary teachers delivering Gaelic L2.

The Trust acknowledges the contribution that primary schools across Scotland are making to the promotion of the Gaelic language through the 1+2 language model and welcomes applications from GLPS schools for designated funding for Gaelic books. The Trust also provides grants in respect of Gaelic publishing, including digital and traditional printed books, and junior drama projects.

The Cameron Fund, a separate funding stream from the general fund, has been created to support community-based media projects. To this end, the Trust welcomes applications from individuals / communities / organisations for projects involving new media. This might include short films and vlogs which the GLPT would showcase on their website.

The next deadline for grant applications is 19 October 2018. 

Read more...

What’s on in October – Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival 2018

18 September 2018 (Edinburgh Reporter)

The 5th Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival takes place from 4-20 October 2018.

Festival Opens With First Ever Basque Film Screened At Edinburgh Filmhouse.

The 2018 Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival presents a total of 15 feature films and 7 short films in Spanish from 4-20 October in Edinburgh (Filmhouse), Stirling (MacRobert Arts Centre) and Glasgow (Film Theatre).

[..] Many of the films are suitable for all ages and in addition there will be a special screening of Nur And The Dragon Temple for schools at 10am on Wednesday 3rd October. There will also be workshops which will explore Spanish language, cinema and youth taking place in schools throughout Scotland.

Read more...

Agenda: Let’s raise a toast to a decade of BBC Alba

17 September 2018 (The Herald)

In a world dominated by media the importance of broadcasting cannot be overemphasised in efforts to revive lesser used languages and so the 10th anniversary of the establishment of BBC Alba – launched on September 19, 2008 – is cause for celebration for all committed to the survival and advancement of the Gaelic language. That it was set up under the aegis of the BBC was a crucial achievement especially in the context of that year’s global financial crisis and the inevitable questions around the licence fee, charter renewal and the like. Therefore, to have our Scottish Gaelic channel on the first screen of the BBC iPlayer – located between the Parliament channel and S4C (the Welsh language channel) – remains a source of pleasure to language activists.

Indeed the creation of a dedicated Gaelic channel is now acknowledged as one of the key cultural developments of the new millennium in Scotland (cf National Theatre of Scotland, Dundee V & A) and crucially complements Gaelic-medium education; and arguably, in terms of impact, more significant than the Gaelic Language Act (2005).

Read more...

Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition 2018-19

14 September 2018 (SCILT)

Today we're launching the 2018-19 Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition in Scotland.

All students who are learning a language at school, college or university, or who speak a native language at home, can get involved in celebrating their linguistic and cultural diversity through creative poetry writing as there are options to enter in either the Mother Tongue or Other Tongue category. All entries must be the students' own, original work.

For more information about this year's competition and previous events, visit our MTOT website and register to take part! The closing date for registrations is 26 October 2018.

Read more...

1+2 Modern Languages in Parliament

13 September 2018 (Scottish Parliament)

Read the First Minister's response when asked at the Meeting of the Parliament 13 September 2018 what action the Scottish Government will take to improve the implementation of the one-plus-two modern languages policy in broad general education.

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The Local Storytelling Campaign

13 September 2018 (SISF)

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) takes place 19-31 October. Across Scotland, schools and communities are encouraged to take part in an initiative that celebrates the art of storytelling under the theme Growing Stories. The Local Campaign, running from Monday 17 September – Friday 30 November, aims to highlight how stories help communities connect, grow together and play a vital part in preserving heritage and cultures for new generations.

To celebrate, audiences are invited to book a storyteller for a local event, strike-up new community activity and engagement with storytelling. 

Visit the Scottish International Storytelling Festival website for more information and suggested ways to take part.

Read more...

Theatre play for schools - The Arrival

13 September 2018 (Education Scotland)

A new theatre play, The Arrival, will be touring Scotland from 26 September to 26 October 2018.

The story is about a man that travels to a new land in search of a future for his family.

The play and classroom activities are targeted at S1-S2 pupils. The aim is to engage the students in the world of The Arrival throughout the day, setting up playful interventions, happenings and surprises that create the sense of an event, building towards a performance of the play after lunch.

The key fact is that the play is accessible to deaf, hearing and people who have English as a second/other language.

See the trailer and visit the website for more information and to book.

Read more...

Worldwide Napier magazine - Call for contributions

12 September 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Do you have young linguists with a passion for writing? Then here's a great opportunity for budding authors!

Worldwide Napier is a free magazine showcasing the work of language students at Edinburgh Napier University.

Senior pupils at secondary school are invited to submit contributions for the second edition of the magazine in French, German and Spanish by 31 October 2018.

You can read the first issue online and see the attached introductory letter and poster for more information.

Read more...

Dunoon gears up for Royal National Mòd

12 September 2018 (Oban Times)

Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd) will return to Dunoon next month (Friday 12 October – Saturday 20 October) for the eighth time – with a very special focus on Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

The nine-day spectacular of Gaelic music, arts and sport will take place in Dunoon for the first time since 2012, with a host of initiatives aimed at encouraging more young people to get involved already under way.

Throughout the year, Dunoon schools have welcomed tutors from FèisSgoil to help them prepare for Mòd competitions, as part of An Comunn Gàidhealach’s Mòd Academy initiative, which aims to help youngsters learn and develop their musical and Gaelic skills.

Local drama workshops for Dunoon’s youngsters were hosted in recent months in a bid to inspire more children to get involved with Gaelic drama, with a group set to perform at this year’s festival; and organisers have been working closely with the Camanachd Association to arrange a junior shinty Mòd Cup match before the annual senior match.

This year also saw the establishment of the first ever Young Person’s Committee, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, which has allowed young Gaels the opportunity to get involved in the Mòd planning process, and to have their say on what they would like to see.

Read more...

Curriculum for GLE and GME

10 September 2018 (Education Scotland)

e-Sgoil is an interactive, real-time teaching facility which uses Glow, Office 365 and Vscene to support the teaching of Gaelic and through Gaelic in any school in Scotland. It supports the curriculum for 1+2, Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education. A short promotional video is available on the Education Scotland learning blog.

Read more...

Maths Week Scotland - Mathématiques sans frontières / Maths wi nae borders

7 September 2018 (North Lanarkshire Council)

As part of Maths Week Scotland, pupils of all ages can participate in the 'Maths wi nae borders' competition, which requires students to respond to one of the questions in either Gaelic or Scots.

The new competition is inspired by 'Mathématiques sans frontières'. North Lanarkshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland and Heriot Watt University work together to encourage young language learners to apply their knowledge in a Maths setting.

This stimulating and light-hearted competition for secondary schools combines Maths and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in both their Maths and Language Learning.  S4 classes attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions.  Ideally a whole class should tackle groups of questions in order to complete the test within the 60 minutes allowed.

The first question require an explanation in a foreign language.  It is hoped that this competition will encourage cross-curricular working and teamwork.

This year 42 teams from 27 schools took part in 'Mathématiques sans Frontières', the winning team in S4 was Girvan Academy and the S5 winners and overall winning school was Grange Academy.

Look out for the e-mail invitation inviting you to take part in January 2019.

The return of Business Brunches 18-19: Language skills in the world of work

7 September 2018 (SCILT)

Would you like to invite 10 of your S3-S6 pupils to discover the benefits of language skills in the world of work and engage with a variety of dynamic employers to encourage learners to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their education, and beyond school? Look no further….

For the fifth year in succession, SCILT, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce and the University Council of Modern Languages Scotland will be hosting a series of five Business Brunch events in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness over the course of December this year, and January 2019.  Registration will open at 9am on Friday 14th September.

Find out more on our Business Brunches webpage.

Read more...

CLPL for Beyond the Panda

5 September 2018 (RZSS)

Would you like to find out more about 'Beyond the Panda' and what it offers to assist Mandarin language learning? As the first science specialist Confucius Classroom in the world, we would like to invite you to a FREE session for teachers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo on Tuesday 6 November 2018. 

Find out answers to these questions and more:

  • What is a 'panda box'?
  • How can our programme mix science with language? 
  • What else does the programme offer?
  • What does a science specialist Confucius Classroom mean? 

Two CLPL sessions available 10.30-12.30 and 3.00-5.00 on Tuesday 6 November. Booking essential as limited to 20 teachers per session. Open to Primary and Secondary teachers. 

Meet Sandie Robb, the RZSS language specialist along with Hù Wáng, our Confucius Classroom teacher. 

Contact srobb@rzss.org.uk  or 07963 070654 to book a place. 

Fifth dedicated Gaelic school officially opened

4 September 2018 (Holyrood)

A new Gaelic primary - the fifth school dedicated to the language in Scotland – has been officially opened in Skye.

Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh in Portree is the third Gaelic medium school in the Highland Council area.

It opened to its 133 primary and 47 nursery pupils in April this year, with Education Secretary John Swinney attending a special opening ceremony on Monday.

He said: “It is a pleasure to be involved in supporting Highland Council to realise their vision for the Gaelic language. 

“We are seeing growing demand from parents for access to Gaelic medium education across the country which clearly demonstrates that the Scottish Government’s commitments to supporting the language are a having a positive result. 

“I commend Highland Council for their actions and look forward to working with them on future projects.”

Gaelic medium education is available in 14 out of 32 Scottish local authorities to all children and young people.

Read more...

SCHOLAR

3 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR has updated the Higher French, German and Spanish pages to reflect the changes to Higher which are now in place. SCHOLAR on-line tutor, Douglas Angus, will be hosting a webinar on Monday 17 September at 6pm for an hour to look at the changes, and to talk about the implications for teaching and learning of the new format for Higher Modern Languages. To take part in this event please log in as guest. The webinar will be broadcast live and recorded so it can be downloaded if you miss it.

There will be sessions for pupils at Higher and Advanced Higher level this year again, starting in November. For Higher, amongst the sessions will be on on the Assignment-Writing and for Advanced Higher on on the Portfolio and Specialist Study. Meanwhile, last year’s sessions are still available on the SCHOLAR website, but are open to all and do not require a password.

Read more...

Where have all the modern language assistants gone?

31 August 2018 (TESS)

The number of modern language assistants in Scotland has taken another tumble this year, Tes Scotland can reveal.

New figures also show that employing MLAs – native speakers who typically spend a year working in Scottish classrooms – is increasingly the preserve of independent schools, with nearly half based in that sector, including all of Edinburgh’s contingent of 18.

Data from the British Council, which arranges for MLAs to work in Scotland, reveals that there are only 61 MLAs, 27 of whom are based in independent schools. This is the lowest figure since current records began in 2003: the next lowest was 72 in 2013-14 and the current number is less than a quarter of the 2005-06 high point of 278. The number of local authorities with MLAs is also falling, from 15 (out of 32) in 2017 to 13 in 2018.

From a recent high of 146 MLAs in Scotland in 2016-17, numbers fell sharply to 80 in 2017-18 – including 23 based in independent schools – with some fearing that this was related to the 2016 vote to leave the EU (“Brexit blamed as language assistant numbers dive”, Tes Scotland, 17 November 2017).

The British Council, however, has played down any suggestion that Brexit has had an impact. Liz Neil, acting head of education for British Council Scotland, says: “The reduction in the number of modern language assistants in Scotland is disappointing and we are working with stakeholders to explore options for addressing the issue – for example, by getting more placements in primary schools where the impact on primary learners can be significant.”

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

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Education Scotland Gaelic Newsletter

31 August 2018 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's newsletter for Gaelic education is now available online.

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Yakety Yak Language Cafés

30 August 2018 (Yakety Yak)

Looking to brush up your conversational language skills? Yakety Yak host a variety of language cafés in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Next sessions begin 3 September 2018. Visit their website for details.

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Caution over drop in numbers sitting language exams

30 August 2018 (SecEd)

Another fall in the number of pupils taking French and German exams does not reflect an overall decline in the health of languages in Scottish classrooms, according to a leading linguist.

French National 5 entries fell by about 10 per cent on last year, while at Higher the level was 17.5 per cent below 2016. German Higher entries were down 20 per cent on two years ago.

Spanish and Mandarin have made modest rises overall.

However, Fhiona Mackay, director of SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, said it was misleading to focus on this criterion alone because primary schools were “normalising” languages from P1 in a way that is widening exposure hugely.

“The French figures were disappointing, no doubt about it. But to say languages are disappearing from our schools is very far off the mark and really unfair on our teachers.

“Of course I would like to see more youngsters choosing languages because I fundamentally believe that is a good thing. But it needs to be voluntary – so we need to evaluate the barriers and do more to remove them.” 

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Narrowing of secondary options hits Gaelic

30 August 2018 (TES)

A leading light in Gaelic-medium education is calling for the Scottish government to investigate the impact of the narrowing of the curriculum in senior secondary.

He says teenagers are being “lost to the language” and that the teacher supply pipeline is “in danger of drying up” as a result.

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

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Related Links

Call for the right to be taught in Gaelic (TES, 31 August 2018) Subscription required to read full article.

Where next for Gaelic as it gains ground in education? (TES, 31 August 2018) Subscription required to read full article.

French courses in Edinburgh now enrolling

29 August 2018 (Institut français)

Ready for la rentrée? The Institut français will be commencing classes for adults and children on 18 September 2018.

Open Days are available on 8 and 10 September where you can meet the teachers, have your level assessed and see the premises.

Visit the Institut français website for more information.

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Gaelic Language plan brings forward a host of new volunteers

28 August 2018 (Press and Journal)

Gaelic speakers, and those with an interest in the language, are being invited to showcase bespoke tours for visitors at sites including Dunstaffnage Castle near Oban, Arnol Blackhouse on the Isle of Lewis and Urquhart Castle, near Inverness, to promote the historic origins of the language and its place in Scotland’s rich history.

The Gaelic volunteer programme is part of the organisation’s five-year Gaelic Language Plan.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Gaelic is a distinct and unique part of Scotland’s history and culture which attracts visitors from all over the world, contributing significantly to Scotland’s economy.

Read more...

Related Links

Historic sites to offer bespoke Gaelic tours (The Herald, 28 August 2018)

Talking up Gaelic at historic sites (Stornoway Gazette, 27 August 2018)

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF)

27 August 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

The fifth Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) will run from 4 -13 October 2018. Primary and secondary schools are invited to take part in its School Programme.

Also, to link with the Year of Young People, special workshops and screenings have been prepared that will explore Spanish language, cinema and youth.

More information and how to book places can be found on the attached invitation letters.

Help us continue collaborative cross-sector action for languages

27 August 2018 (SCILT/UCMLS)

To make 1+2 a reality we need to act with one voice for languages! So do join us at the University of Dundee on Saturday, 15 September 2018 for a half-day conference where SCILT/UCMLS evaluate past actions and plan new ones.

We will finish with a networking lunch and wine to celebrate 25 years of UCMLS. For catering purposes, please sign up by 7 September via Eventbrite. 

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SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

27 August 2018 (SQA)

SQA is running three webinars in September covering updates to Higher Modern Languages:

  • Tuesday 4th September 5-6pm

  • Monday 10th September 5-6pm

  • Thursday 27th September 5-6pm

Content will be the same on all three dates. Register on the SQA booking system.

If colleagues are finding they cannot get a place on the webinar they can contact the SQA events team sqaevents@sqa.org.uk or 0345 213 5580 who would in turn contact colleagues if spaces on webinars become available. 

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Updates from SQA - Modern Languages

24 August 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

Revised Higher Specimen Question Papers for use in session 2018-19 onwards are now available on the main Higher Modern Languages webpage.  Revised marking instructions for Directed Writing are currently only available in the Specimen Question papers.

Exemplars of Higher Directed Writing valid from session 2018/19 with associated commentary written in line with the revised marking instructions for Directed Writing are now available.  There are currently 8 exemplars in French and Spanish with other languages available in due course.

Exemplars of Higher Assignment-writing valid from session 2018/19 with associated commentary written in line with the marking instructions for assignment-writing are now available. There are currently 6 exemplars in French, German and Spanish, with other languages available in due course.

All exemplars can be found on www.understandingstandards.org.uk

Exemplars of talking performances at Higher valid from session 2018/19 are now available. These include associated commentary written in line with the marking instructions for performance-talking.  Exemplars of talking performances at National 5 are also available. Both can be found on the understanding standards area on the SQA secure website.

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SCILT CLPL

24 August 2018 (SCILT)

SCILT CLPL

Refreshed and raring to go? Us too! New school year = new SCILT CLPL menu. Featuring a variety of workshops for primary colleagues, for secondary colleagues and one workshop specifically aimed at bringing primary and secondary colleagues together. Our free professional learning is learner-focused, practice-led and evidence-informed. Booking now open! More information on our CLPL menu.

OU/SCILT Teaching Primary Languages programme

There is still time to register for the sector-leading Open University Scotland/SCILT Teaching Primary Languages programme. The course will be available to all primary practitioners but also secondary teachers who teach at primary level. We have produced an FAQ document with further detail about the course for your information.

This blended professional learning programme combines primary languages pedagogy and beginner's language learning.  Choose from beginner's French, German, Mandarin or Spanish. The course fee is £240.00 per student. There are plans to offer teachers, who enrol on the course, a summer school experience which will offer immersion in the language to boost confidence and provide ample opportunities to learn more about the cultures in which the language they are studying is spoken. The summer school is not part of the course, it is optional and can be booked separately. More information on this will be published in due course.

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, don't delay! Speak to your local authority languages Development Officer first, then they can contact Sylvia Warnecke at the Open University (s.warnecke@open.ac.uk ) to confirm your enrolment on the programme.

Deaf Science Club

20 August 2018 (Glasgow Science Centre)

Due to popular demand, Glasgow Science Centre is running a second Deaf Science Club starting on Saturday 8 September 2018. 

The fortnightly science club has been created for Deaf, BSL users and those hard of hearing.

Budding scientists aged 6–14 years old can explore the Universe in the Planetarium, see a live science show full of spectacular demonstrations and get hands-on in workshops.

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Outlander is boosting a renaissance of the Scots language – here’s how

20 August 2018 (The Conversation)

Pithy Scots brogue and throwaway insults punctuate Outlander, the phenomenally successful TV series that explores the final great Jacobite uprising of 1745 – the rebellion against King George II led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. Like 18th-century period dress or columns of troops, the Scots language is colourfully employed to lend authenticity to the drama.

The Scots spoken in Outlander may not be the language spoken today in Scotland, but rather a stage-Scots – essentially English dressed in tartan and cockade – yet it is still to be cheered. In fact, the presence of Scots in Outlander is a sign of how far an historically repressed language has come in just a few decades.

Full article written in Scots is also available.

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Graduate distance learning Diplomas in French or German or Spanish

20 August 2018 (University of Dundee)

New intake: The online Graduate Diplomas in French, German or Spanish are accredited by the General Teaching Council Scotland GTCS for teachers wishing to teach another language. The course runs 2 years part-time and starts in October 2018, University of Dundee.

The courses are taught online and via Skype and suitable for learners with an entry level comparable to a Higher or equivalent.  On completion graduates are expected to be at C1 level (CEFR) .

For further information please see the distance learning page of the University of Dundee website. 

Please contact us at humanities@dundee.ac.uk if you wish to discuss any aspect of the courses, or your application. 

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Runrig say farewell as Stòrlann launch rocking resource

20 August 2018 (Stòrlann)

Legendary Gaelic rock band Runrig said farewell at the end of a 45 year career with a two-night event which attracted 50,000 people to Stirling Castle. At the event were showcases for FilmG, the Gaelic Sort Film Project, and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College. FilmG’s theme this year is “In the Blink of an Eye.” Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig have also launched a newly developed Runrig resource for use in schools, alongside redeveloping their Fileanta website for Gaelic Medium Education in Secondary.

Access the resources via the following links:

Gaelic eLearning by eSgoil available to learners all across Scotland

20 August 2018 (eSgoil)

Comhairle nan Eilean’s eSgoil is offering National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) via computer - these will be open to school pupils and adult learners anywhere. All you need is a computer with internet access.

Get in touch with Angus MacLennan or Catriona Currie at esgoil@gnes.net if you or learners within your school would be interested in this opportunity

This is the timetable for the classes.

  • Monday 8:50-10:30 
  • Wednesday 14:00-14:45 
  • Thursday 13:55-15:35 
  • Friday 12:25-13:15

Leadership Award for Gaelic Education: 2 and 3 November 2018, 30 November and 1 December 2018

19 August 2018 (Education Scotland)

We are delighted to announce that the Leadership Award for educators of Gaelic Medium Education (GME) organised by Social Enterprise Academy, in collaboration with Education Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, is being offered in November and December 2018. This is a professional learning opportunity which is tailored to build leadership capacity in GME. It is delivered through the medium of Gaelic. The Leadership Award is endorsed by the Scottish College of Educational Leadership (SCEL), with accreditation by the Institute of Leadership and Management Award at SCQF level 9 and is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Visit Education Scotland's learning blog for more information.

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German courses for the new term

17 August 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

We offer German courses from beginners to advanced levels. If you are a complete beginner or attended a course in the previous semester, you can enrol by phone or online. New students with some previous knowledge are invited to pop in during our Assessment Open Days. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

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Vive le Fringe ! 2018

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

From 3-27 August, the Institut français d'Ecosse will be hosting Fringe shows from exciting French, Scottish, and European artists based locally and on the continent.

Edinburgh-based Ludens Ensemble will perform Forbidden Stories, a devised multimedia performance, which questions cultural homogeneity, notions of otherness, and religious and nationalist tensions in the context of the partition of Greek and Turk communities on Cyprus.

(Mes)Dames, a contemporary dance piece choreographed by Constant VigierScottish Ballet First Artist trained at the Opera national de Paris School of Dance, and set to the music of Christine and the Queens and Perfume Genius, offers a feminist gaze on the place of woman and femininity in modern society.

Berlin’s Duo Mimikry, composed of Nicolas Rocher and Elias Elastisch, bring Visual Short Stories, a series of non-verbal comedy vignettes, to the Institut français d’Ecosse. The French and German pair uses their expert miming skills and filmlike narrative techniques to deliver pitch black visual comedy.

Rounding out the programming in the Institut’s largest performance space, the Emilienne Moreau-Evrard room, is Out of Place, a show about a man who, despite his best efforts, never seems to find his place in life. Created and performed by Guérassim Dichliev, a gifted mime and physical comedian who trained at the Marcel Marceau International School of Miming, this one-clown show draws upon his experiences of displacement, both working in the theatre and living as a Bulgarian national in Paris for more than 25 years.

In SWAP/TROC, the Paisley-based Sita Pieraccini (much praised for Bird, performed as part of the 2016 Made in Scotland showcase) joins forces with the French clown Corentin Boisset to create a new work to be performed in the Institut’s dedicated children’s space, the Théâtre des Enfants. This poetic and subtle clown show will see Sita and Corentin desperately sashaying their way through the airport’s no man’s land in search of what one lost, and the other found.

Finally, for the youngest of audiences, the Crazy Comics Puppets will transform the Kieffer room into a puppet theatre, performing two different shows, The Carnival of the Animalsand A Cake for CubitusRodrigue and Janvier, two French bande dessinée authors will bring to life some of the most iconic characters from French comics, alternating between English on odd days and French on even days. In addition to these shows aimed at children 5 and up, Rodrigue will also be delivering a series of free illustration masterclasses for participants of all ages and experience levels alongside Janvier and local Scottish writer Scott MacKay.

See the Institut français d'Ecosse website for more information.

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Concours de la francophonie 2019

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

The Institut français d’Ecosse launched in 2016 le concours de la francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French. Entry deadline: January 2019.

Visit the Institut français d’Ecosse website for more information. 

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Institut français d'Ecosse After School Club

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

Paris, c'est parti!

This is the Autumn theme for the new Institut français d'Ecosse After School Club!

The programme, aimed at children from P1 to P7, is the fruit of a collaboration between French Drama company Theatre Sans Accents, the puppet theatre company Le Petit Monde and the institute.

So needless to say, fun and creativity will be at the fore front of all the activities!

For more information, please visit the Institut français d'Ecosse website and click on the 'Autumn Classes 2018' PDF for details.

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The lessons Gaelic schools can teach us about learning

15 August 2018 (The National)

[..] Gaelic medium education succeeds in producing new generations of fluent Gaelic speakers because, as its name suggests, it makes use of the Gaelic language to teach other subjects. Kids don’t sit in classes where they are taught Gaelic in the same way that French or other foreign languages are taught in schools.

The difference in the fluency level that is achieved is stark. I was taught Gaelic the old-fashioned way, and am the proud possessor of a Gaelic Learner’s O Grade and a Gaelic Learner’s Higher. I was taught Gaelic in much the same way kids in modern Scottish schools are taught French or German, in a dedicated class, a couple of hours a week. The result is that although I can puzzle out a written text in the language and have a reasonably sized Gaelic vocabulary, I struggle to follow a Gaelic conversation and can’t express myself orally.

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French courses in Glasgow now enrolling

13 August 2018 (Alliance Française)

Enrolments are now being taken at the Alliance Française for la Rentrée. Click on the appropriate link below to find out more.

Visit the Alliance Française main website for information about their other available activities.

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Scottish youth to explore the way of the dragon...

13 August 2018 (4barsrest)

Carnoustie High School Band will head east this September to become the first youth brass band to tour China.

The remarkable opportunity came following a performance at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow in 2016 for the renowned Confucius Institute for Scotland.

Such was the success that it led to the school's head teacher Donald Currie being contacted to set the ball rolling on the ambitious initiative — and now, after almost two years of research and fundraising the band will fly out on 7th September for 15 unforgettable days of music and cultural learning.

Confucius Hubs are based in schools and seek to make links with local communities throughout Scotland — with Carnoustie serving the Angus area. It promotes the joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.

The band will fly out from Glasgow, and after a short stop in Dubai will carry on to China where they will enjoy seven days in Tianjin and seven more in Beijing before their return.

While in Tianjin, the band members will be learning Mandarin, as well as performing three concerts. They will also visit Chinese families and schools, enabling the young musicians to experience Chinese culture first hand with a chance to learn Gongfu (Chinese martial arts), Tai Chi, and the ancient arts of calligraphy and mask painting.

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Scotland experiencing 'mass movement' of parents seeking Gaelic schools

10 August 2018 (The Herald)

Scotland is experiencing a “mass movement” of parents who want their children to be educated in Gaelic, creating increasing demand for more specialist schools to be built.

Allan MacDonald, chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public body responsible for Gaelic, said there had been a “significant” boost in the number of families interested in Gaelic education in towns and cities.

He said the language was experiencing a “shift in emphasis” away from its heartlands and towards the Central Belt as populations continue to plummet in Scotland’s most rural areas.

He added: “The numbers are growing in the cities and the bigger towns all the time. And that contrasts quite significantly with the economic situation – not just in the Western Isles, but in other areas of the Highlands as well.”

t comes as a series of commitments aimed at boosting the strength of Gaelic were unveiled at a milestone meeting of public bodies chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

This includes plans to publish the first ever Gaelic tourism strategy this autumn to help bring visitors into contact with the language.

Officials also want to increase the number of school subjects which can be taught in Gaelic.

Read more...

Related Links

Perth summit pledges action to accelerate use of Gaelic language (The Courier, 10th August 2018)

Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

YouthLink Scotland, its members and UK/German Connection have teamed up to offer an opportunity to share experiences and make new links between our two countries.

This is an exciting opportunity for workers and the young people (aged 14-21) they work with to get together with German counterparts here and in Germany.

The commitment is two residential weekends taking place in October and December - one in Scotland and one in Berlin.

Places are limited so get in touch soon. The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 August 2018.

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RCS Haven E-Bulletin - August 2018

8 August 2018 (RCS Haven)

The Russian Centre in Scotland Haven's latest news bulletin is now available. 

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Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

7 August 2018 (SRF)

The latest news bulletin from the SRF is now available which includes upcoming events and activities in Scotland and beyond.

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Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

7 August 2018 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

The Daily Record, alongside headline sponsor Bòrd na Gàidhlig are proud to launch the 2018 campaign to celebrate Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

Visit the website for more information and submit your nomination by 25 September 2018.

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SQA: Scottish education exam results 2018

7 August 2018 (Relocate Magazine)

Scottish exam results are in - and more than 2/3rds of independent school pupils sitting exams achieved a Higher grade A in foreign languages, including Mandarin. 

Although the number of entries for Highers and the proportion of students who received a pass mark has fallen slightly, data from the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) reveals that 68% of pupils studying foreign languages have achieved a Higher grade A.

The data, collected from SCIS’s 74 member schools, shows that 72% of students achieved a Higher grade A in Mandarin, while 72% of those studying German, 69% of those studying French and 63% studying Spanish also achieved an A.

Read more...

Related Links

Language exam entries are falling, but pourquoi? (TESS, 17 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read article.

Review call after fall in pupils studying languages and science (The Herald, 10 August 2018)

John Swinney urged to review school subject choice after figures show collapse in modern languages (The Telegraph, 9 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read full article.

Two-thirds fewer Scottish S4 pupils passing French exams under new curriculum (The Telegraph, 8 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read full article.

Attainment Statistics (August) 2018 (SQA, 7 August 2018)

Shanghai teacher immersion course 2018

7 August 2018 (CISS)

A group of teachers from Scotland spent two weeks in July immersing themselves in new cultural experiences in Shanghai, China.

A typical day consisted of an early start, breakfast in the Shitang (canteen) followed by Mandarin classes. Everyone greatly enjoyed the lessons as beginners were well supported whilst the more experienced speakers were sufficiently challenged. 

This was followed by a cultuphoto of Shanghai skyline by nightral excursion or experience. For most this was the highlight of the trip as it allowed everyone to apply their learning and to experience authentic Chinese culture.

Highlights in Shanghai included a riverboat cruise by night, showcasing the breath-taking skyline, relaxing from the hustle and bustle experiencing Tai chi, and producing calligraphy and hearing stories behind the characters.

Can £27m a year bring a language back from near death?

1 August 2018 (BBC)

The feeling of walking barefoot across a beach in summer and the sun-warmed sand chafing my toes takes me the length of this sentence to describe. My great-great-grandfather, Angus Morrison, would have used one word: driùchcainn. 

That’s because, born and bred on the fringes of Western Europe, on Lewis, in the archipelago of the Outer Hebrides, his mother tongue was Scottish Gaelic.

It’s the ancient Celtic language heard by TV audiences tuning into the Highlands time-travelling saga Outlander.

In real life, working together crofting, fishing, weaving or cutting peat for fires, my ancestors spoke in Gaelic. It was spoken at home, sung at parties, used at church. But education in Angus’s day was strictly in English. As late as the 1970s, children were sometimes punished for speaking Gaelic at school.

Raised alongside Atlantic surf and storms, he became a sailor. Then, in the mid-nineteenth century, moved to Glasgow, and settled there working as a ship’s rigger. Among the principles he instilled in the family was the importance of education. But he did not pass on his cradle tongue.

My family story illustrates what linguistics experts call intergenerational breakdown. In 2018, along with about half of the world’s estimated 6,000 languages, Scottish Gaelic is considered at risk of dying out.

Read more...

Language courses at risk amid staff shortage

30 July 2018 (The Times)

Head teachers may have to cut language courses in schools as a staffing shortage worsens.

With weeks to go until lectures begin, some modern language courses for teachers at leading universities are half empty. There is already a widespread recruitment crisis in the profession.

At the University of the West of Scotland only 11 of 20 places for one-year postgraduate teacher training courses in modern languages in secondary schools had been filled by mid-July.

Read more...

The care home residents proving it's never too late to learn a new language

25 July 2018 (The Guardian)

French and Italian classes are improving self-confidence and wellbeing as well as cognition – even for those with dementia.

Read more...

Salve! Latin lessons offered to Aberdeen school kids

30 June 2018 (Press and Journal)

Aberdeen primary pupils may be greeting friends with ‘salve’ rather than ‘fit like’ next term after headteachers were offered the chance to boost Latin in their schools.

The Classical Association of Scotland said a similar campaign in Glasgow had led to 10 schools starting to teach the Roman language.

Now they have written to city council chiefs offering financial assistance to help with training that will enable Latin lessons to take place in city schools.

Learning other languages has proven benefits and the association believes Latin can help with understanding other European tongues.

Read more...

Glasgow University hears its first Gaelic graduation speech in 567 years

28 June 2018 (The Herald)

Glasgow University has heard its first graduation speech in Gaelic in its 567-year history.

The ancient seat awarded a former moderator of the Church of Scotland with an honorary degree partly because of his commitment to the Celtic tongue.

And the Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison accepted with an oration partly in Gaelic.

Read more...

Swimming lessons in Gaelic a first for Scotland

26 June 2018 (BBC)

Swimming lessons have been offered in Gaelic for the first time in Scotland.

More than 30 young Gaelic speakers have signed up for the classes at the High Life Highland-run Lochaber Leisure Centre in Fort William.

Eilidh Mcarthur, a student teacher working at the pool, suggested the idea after she found out that 11 of the site's staff were Gaelic speakers.

Read more...

Higher Modern Languages webinar recordings

21 June 2018 (SQA)

The SQA has published a recording of the Higher Modern Languages webinar that took place on 19 June. The webinar provides guidance on the revised course assessment for session 2018-19.

Webinars can also be accessed from the Understanding Standards website.

Read more...

Landeskunde German workshops

21 June 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

These workshop at level B1/B2 combine language training in German with topical information on various aspects of German language and culture.

Various dates are available in July, August and September 2018.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to book your place.

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FilmG

20 June 2018 (FilmG)

The successful Film G project which encourages the use of Gaelic through film-making has entered it’s 11th year. Film G is run by MG Alba in partnership with CGS and has been a very popular event for Gaelic Learners and Fluent speakers alike over the last decade. Film G organise school visits and more information can be found on their website.

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CLAS - Successful Gaelic teachers conference held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig 2/3 June

20 June 2018 (CLAS)

CLAS - Comann Luchd-Teagaisg Àrd-Sgoiltean, the professional body for Gaelic Secondary Teachers in Scotland, held a successful CLPL conference at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College in the Isle of Skye on 2 & 3 June. SCILT was in attendance along with other speakers, as colleagues took the opportunity to share their hopes and concerns about Gaelic Education in the present time.

If you are a Gaelic teacher or a teacher who speaks Gaelic and would like to be come a member, contact Catriona MacPhee via CLAS’ facebook page.

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Yell pupils pick up French language awards

20 June 2018 (Shetland News)

TEN pupils at Mid Yell Junior High School received prizes on Monday (18 June) as part of a celebration of the teaching and use of French in Scottish schools.

The S2 students, winners of this year's Concours de la francophonie competition, received their prizes during a special award ceremony at the school in the presence of education attaché of the French Embassy in the UK Thomas Chaurin and Shetland Gas Plant facilities management co-ordinator Jenny Wink, who was also representing sponsor Total E&P UK.

The VIP visit came after the Yell bairns were unable to attend the official award ceremony in Edinburgh in March.

With the majority of children now learning French from P1 in Scotland, la francophonie is said to be thriving.

Read more...

A National Framework for Languages supporting implementation of 1+2

19 June 2018 (SCDE)

The Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) Languages Group, which represents all language strands within the Schools of Education across Scottish Universities, has created a National Framework for Languages (NFfL) and associated digital resource to support teacher educators and teachers at all stages of their careers, with the aim of transforming the 1 + 2 Languages Policy in Scotland into purposeful classroom pedagogies promoting plurilingualism and pluriliteracies.

The NFfL is based on four overarching principles: plurilingualism, diversity, policy and legislation and transformative practice, and reflects the strands of the Professional Standards established by GTCS. For each of these strands the NFfL has identified a series of statements which encourage practitioners to consider a broad and inclusive understanding of the role of language in and for learning. These statements are linked to the associated digital resources: a reflective tool and digital resource bank.
The reflective tool includes a personal biography based on Pepelino and the European Language Portfolio as well as a series of reflective questions. These reflective questions are directly linked to the statements of the NFfL and aim to support teachers in evaluating their own practices.

The digital resource bank was created after a systematic review of the international literature covering formal language learning across all ages and stages, the increasingly complex demands of plurilingual and pluricultural classrooms and the need to develop a shared understanding of the role of languages for learning, which addresses the fundamental role played by languages (including the learners’ first language) in developing global citizens.

The NFfL and accompanying digital resources are now being piloted and can be accessed on the National Framework for Languages (NFfL) website.

Further information can be obtained from Ingeborg Birnie (Ingeborg.birnie@strath.ac.uk).

Read more...

GlobeScotters

18 June 2018 (British Council)

British Council is excited to announce the launch of GlobeScotters! We've partnered with @YoungScot to inspire Scotland's young people to embrace the international opportunities available to them at home and abroad!

Over the next six months the GlobeScotters website will be updated with all things international - from funding opportunities, to fun videos on international foods and some big Young Scot Rewards prizes!

Whether you are studying abroad next term, or want to learn about different cultures in your community, we have you covered!

Read more...

Crisis as Scots businesses struggle to hire Mandarin speakers amid Chinese tourist boom

17 June 2018 (Daily Record)

Shop owners in Scotland’s busiest tourist traps are struggling to hire Mandarin speakers to cope with a spike in Chinese customers.

Retail outlets, hotels and restaurants are advertising in shop windows as well as online to try to attract staff with specialised language skills.

Balmoral Cashmere in Edinburgh have put out a call for applicants in a street-front display. Last week saw the first direct flight from China to Scotland. 

Official figures show 41,000 Chinese visitors are coming to the country every year.

Highlands hotelier Willie Cameron said: “The Chinese are also buying into hotels and investing so there is business tourism too. “I struggled to get a Mandarin-speaking receptionist. There aren’t very many Mandarin speakers in Drumnadrochit but the websites for all my hotels are translated into Mandarin.” 

Visits from Chinese tourists are worth an estimated £36 million to the Scottish economy, with the average spend per day exceeding £70. Chinese visitors spend about £900 per visit across 12 nights. 

Dr Nathan Woolley, director of the Confucius Institute at Glasgow University, said there is an increasing interest from students and business workers to study Mandarin to augment their skills.

Read more...

e-Sgoil wins top praise from Swinney

15 June 2018 (We love Stornoway)

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP has praised Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s e-Sgoil project in a review document of its first year which has been circulated to all schools in Scotland.

Mr Swinney said “e-Sgoil makes use of our national education intranet, GLOW and it is effectively using this to bring teachers and learners together no matter their location. I would like to congratulate those involved at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for their vision, energy and commitment in bringing this project forward in such a short period of time.

“In concluding I would like to commend this report to you and hope you are encouraged by the success set out in the following pages.”

e-Sgoil is offering National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) provision on-line to Local Authorities.

e-Sgoil e have identified the following periods for the delivery of National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners):

  • Mon - 08.50 to 09.40 and 09.40 to 10.30 
  • Wed - 13.35 to 14.45 
  • Thurs - 13.55 to 14.45 and 11.45 to 15.35 
  • Fri - 12.25 to 13.15

Any learners wishing to access these courses can do so using Glow, Office 365 and Vscene. 

e-Sgoil also has capacity to deliver weekly Gaelic Learner classes for any schools requiring support with the 1+2 agenda.

If your school or authority is interested in exploring these options contact e-sgoil@gnes.net or phone 01851 822850.

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Language Linking Global Thinking

12 June 2018 (University of Edinburgh)

French and Spanish MA (Hons) student, Róisín MacFarlane, describes her involvement in SCILT’s Year Abroad schools initiative.

Róisín and three other students from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) recently attended a course with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) preparing both students and teachers for the Language Linking Global Thinking (LLGT) project.

In this article - her first as Web, Communications and Social Media Intern for LLC - she talks about the LLGT programme and explains why so many schools and students are getting involved.

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SQA update for teachers of Higher Modern Languages

11 June 2018 (SQA)

Course support notes and coursework assessment tasks for session 2018-19 are now available, including the new assignment-writing task and performance-talking. Download them from the SQA Higher Modern Languages website ‘2018-19 session’ section.

Read more...

The 50-Word Fiction Competition

8 June 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

Can you write a story in just 50 words? Each month we’ll provide a prompt to get you started, but where the story goes from there is entirely up to you.

The competition includes four categories, Adult Writers, All-age Gaelic Writers, Young Writers 5-11 and Young Writer 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the four winning stories will be published on our website two weeks after the closing date.

Entries for our June competition are currently open. The prompt is to 'write a story set on a beach'. Submit your story by Tuesday 3 July 2018 at noon. 

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for more information.

Read more...

150 hours to learn Mandarin – and teach it

7 June 2018 (TES)

Hundreds of primary school teachers will have the chance to learn and teach new languages within seven months, under a scheme being expanded after a successful trial.

The distance-learning programme - the first of its kind in the UK – sees primary teachers study either French, Spanish, German or Mandarin and develop the skills to teach the language in the primary classroom at the same time.

After a pilot involving 54 teachers from 49 Scottish schools across nine local authorities in 2017-18, next year the scheme will be available throughout Scotland. Welsh and Northern Irish schools are also expected to sign up.

Teachers taking part will spend about five hours a week from October to June - around 150 hours in total - but they will start teaching the languages to pupils before completing the course.

The scheme, run by The Open University and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, will be launched in Edinburgh today.

Read more...

Press Release: Teachers to learn to teach languages in the classroom

7 June 2018 (SCILT/OU)

An innovative scheme teaching primary teachers languages and how to teach those languages to pupils is being expanded across Scotland for the first time. The first of its kind in the UK, the distance learning programme will see primary teachers study French, Spanish, German or Mandarin and develop the skills to teach the language in the classroom at the same time. 

Launching across Scotland today (Thursday 7 June) at an event in Edinburgh where guests will hear from pupils and teachers, the programme is now available to primary school teachers in all local authorities following a successful pilot which featured 54 teachers from 49 schools across nine local authorities in 2017/18. The programme is a partnership between The Open University and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at the University of Strathclyde.

Designed to support the Scottish Government’s ‘1+2’ language policy, which aims to enable all pupils to learn two additional languages from primary level onwards, the programme will link up with the cultural organisations of France, Spain, Germany and China to facilitate immersive summer schools for participating teachers. At the same time, schools will also have the opportunity to make connections with schools in the countries whose language pupils are learning.

Dr Sylvia Warnecke, lecturer in languages and programme lead at The Open University, said:

“The key thing about this programme is its flexibility, meaning that teachers in every part of Scotland – whether urban or rural – will be able to learn together and share their experiences and ideas, helping each other to bring the language they’re learning to life in the classroom.

“We’ve already had teachers from the pilot project tell us that their pupils love it and are really engaged. They have been instrumental in starting after school language clubs and making links with schools in other countries. It’s exciting that all teachers, schools and pupils in every part of Scotland now have the chance to learn together through this programme.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT, said:

“We see this as an important collaboration between our two universities, local authorities and teachers. The course is focused on developing teachers’ confidence so they are able to create exciting and motivating lessons for their pupils. In this way we can make sure that languages feature as an integral part of the Scottish curriculum and that youngsters are given their full entitlement to language learning.

“The teachers’ commitment to developing their skills is humbling. Their willingness to embrace their own learning in order to benefit their pupils’ experience highlights the professionalism and dedication that is the mark of the teaching profession.”

Gwen McCrossan, Principal Teacher for 1+2 Languages, Argyll & Bute, said:

“This course is ideal for the geographical situation of Argyll & Bute. We are delighted to be able to take part, as it provides a quality learning experience for teachers who would otherwise find it difficult to access language training. The course is also unique because it is tailor-made for primary school.”

The pilot project has been shortlisted in the partnership category in this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards. Such is the interest in the programme following its pilot phase and ahead of its wider rollout, it is expected that teachers from Wales and Northern Ireland will join the next presentation starting in October 2018.

A short video featuring teachers who participated in the pilot talking about their experience of the programme is available on YouTube.

Further information on how to sign-up for next year's course is available on SCILT's website

Briefing on Gaelic Education

7 June 2018 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest briefing on Gaelic Education is now available on their website.

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Scottish Education Awards 2018 - Winners announced!

6 June 2018 (Scottish Education Awards)

Congratulations to all the winners in this year's Scottish Education Awards, particularly those schools who came top in the language categories:

  • Larbert High School Cluster (1+2 Languages Award)
  • Greenfaulds High School (Gaelic Education Award

Visit the Scottish Education Award website for information and photos of all the category winners.

Read more...

Radio Edutalk: Gillian Campbell-Thow on ‘Language Learning in Scottish Education’

5 June 2018 (Radio Edutalk)

Listen to Gillian Campbell-Thow talk about ‘Language Learning in Scottish Education’ broadcast on Radio Edutalk on 5 June 2018.

Read more...

SALT Modern Languages competition for schools

18 May 2018 (SALT)

Entries are now being accepted for the #SALT18 competition!

Primary, secondary and senior phase students are invited to produce a promotional video, poster or presentation in the language of their choice. 

Find out more on the SALT website. Entry deadline is 7 September 2018.

Read more...

Business Brunches 2018 webpage now live!

18 May 2018 (SCILT)

The Business Brunches took place earlier on this year across Scotland, and supported DYW and the Scottish Attainment Challenge by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. 

Take a journey through the entire series of events and explore some of the highlights for yourself, such as:
  
  • A taste of what really went on at these events and why languages play an important role in the world of work by viewing our Business Brunch video located on the main page
  • Inspiring quotes and uploads of presentations from a handful of business leaders who were present that you can share with your own learners
  • Feedback received from pupils who participated
  • Images, tweets, press releases and more

Read through our resources and materials which you may find useful to promote languages for employability in your own school. 

Important news! Business Brunches will be returning for year 2018/19. Further details will be announced on the SCILT website and through our e-bulletin after the summer with instructions on how you can register your school to attend. Keep your eyes peeled! 

Read more...

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

17 May 2018 (SQA)

Dates for the next Higher Modern Languages webinars are now available to book on the SQA website (login required).

Sessions are available:

  • 4 September
  • 10 September
  • 29 September

Read more...

German courses in Glasgow

16 May 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has a two-week intensive course during summer, 'Kickstart your German'. The course is designed for complete beginners who want to pick up some of the language quickly. There are also certificate exams taking place in June for those who need evidence of their German language skills.

To find out more, follow the relevant link below:

For more information about the Goethe-Institut and other opportunities and activities they offer, visit their website.

Read more...

A tongue-lashing over teacher shortage as Gaelic plan agreed

16 May 2018 (The Scotsman)

Parents and pupils at Edinburgh’s only Gaelic high school have demanded action to address a teacher shortage and to stand up for children facing discrimination. The calls came as the city council yesterday agreed its Gaelic Language Plan for 2018-22.

It was revealed the authority only has one Gaelic teacher in employment for Gaelic medium education (GME) at James Gillespie’s High School where pupils are taught primarily through the medium of Gaelic. Speaking at a meeting of the council’s corporate policy and strategy committee, which unanimously agreed the plan, parent Marion Thompson raised worries about protection for GME pupils.

Read more...

Related Links

Edinburgh Council agrees new Gaelic Language Plan (The Scotsman, 15 May 2018)

An Cuan Sgith / The Little Minch art project connecting islands with Gaelic

14 May 2018 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

A two year visual arts project has connected school pupils from Skye and Benbecula.

The pupils from Bunsgoil Shlèite, Skye and Bunsgoil Baile a' Mhanaich, Benbecula worked with professional artists through the medium of Gaelic.

The project, entitled An Cuan Sgìth/The Little Minch, was led by Lasair Ealain and supported by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The aim of the project is to inspire and empower young people to draw their own environment, working with professional artists to encourage their individual forms of expression and a greater understanding of where they live.

After a series of drawing and painting workshops in their own landscapes the children from Bunsgoil Shlèite visited the pupils in Benbecula for 3 days enabling the children to work together with the artists in different sites, share evening activities through Gaelic and make new friends. At the end of the visit, the Balivanich pupils made the ferry journey across to Skye over An Cuan Sgìth (The Little Minch) drawing on the ferry with the Skye pupils and their teachers.

The pupils were able to work with professional artists, such as Julie Brook, Kate Macdonald and Kath MacLeod (Arts Development Officer SMO).

Subsequently each group learnt how to create compositions of specific areas of their landscape based on a number of their sketchbook drawings, enabling the children to collaborate and work together on large scale charcoal drawings.

The sketchbooks, framed A1 drawings, large scale charcoal compositions and a film of the project will form the exhibitions that express their artistic and physical journey, in Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye on 11 May to 23 June 2018.

The project has been funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Western Isles Council, Young Films, Lasair Ealain.

Taigh Chearsabhagh is funded by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

Read more...

Call out to young film-makers in Scotland

10 May 2018 (National Library of Scotland)

A competition opens today (10 May) which invites young people to show in film what Scotland means to them. The competition has been organised by the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Youth Film Festival as part of the Year of Young People.

Anyone under 19 years of age can submit a one-minute film on any theme, in any language and in any genre.

Visit the National Library of Scotland website for more information.

Read more...

Summer French classes in Glasgow

9 May 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow are holding summer classes for both children and adults. Follow the relevant link below to find out more information:

Visit the Alliance Française main website for more information about the activities and opportunities they offer.

Read more...

Public consultation on list of Gaelic shellfish names

8 May 2018 (BBC)

A public consultation on recommended Gaelic names for the most common shellfish in Scotland's seas has been launched.

Scottish Natural Heritage has published a list of 85 marine mollusc names, Gaelic terms for parts of the animals and for different seashell shapes.

The meanings of many of the names have also been explained in English.

The recommendations have been produced by a team from Scottish Natural Heritage and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Gaelic-speaking environmental educator Roddy Maclean has been leading the project.

He interviewed 14 older Gaelic speakers, mostly from the Western Isles, to obtain guidance on the names they use for marine mollusc species.

Mr Maclean said: "There was a general agreement on the names for the most common species.

"But there were some species where people had different terms, or none at all. This challenged us to make a choice and also provide names for species with no recorded Gaelic form."

Some of the suggested names and terms include:

Mollusc - Moileasg
Seashell - Slige mhara
Filter feeder - Sìoltachair
Shellfish harvested by moonlight - Maorach-èalaidh

Read more...

Aberdeen primary school announces official launch of Mandarin language hub

7 May 2018 (Evening Express)

An Aberdeen primary school has announced its new hub for promoting the teaching of Mandarin.

Danestone School launched its Confucius Classroom, which will be a central location for all Aberdeen-based primary schools teaching the language to pupils.

It aims to boost skills in children in line with Scotland’s 1+2 languages policy, which allows every child the opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020.

The hub concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture. The launch event included children singing in Mandarin, and a mixture of Scottish music and dance.

Read more...

Number of Scottish pupils passing foreign language exams has halved in 10 years

6 May 2018 (Daily Record)

The number of Scottish pupils passing foreign language exams has halved over 10 years.

The total at all levels has plunged from 60,176 in 2007 to just 28,503 in 2017.

The fall has been most severe in basic qualifications, raising concerns the figures could get worse in coming years as youngsters lack foundation skills. 

Opposition politicians and business leaders have voiced fears that Scotland’s ability to compete as a global economy could be at risk.

Read more...

Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish (CCEd)

4 May 2018 (University of Strathclyde)

The School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde is delighted to invite applications for the Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish in the academic session 2018-2019.

The Certificate of Continuing Education (CCEd) is an intensive beginners’ class that will bring you up to first-year university standard in a year, with the option of continuing your studies into second year and up to university pass degree level within three years.

These evening degree programmes comprises undergraduate level modules in the language at first, second and third-year levels. The two first-year modules, Introduction 1A and Introduction 1B, are intensive beginners’ classes. They are suitable for people with some or no knowledge of the language but with previous experience of language learning, and would equally suit those with qualifications in the language from some years ago who wish to refresh their knowledge.

The CCEd provides a General Teaching Council approved qualification and has in previous years appealed to candidates from diverse backgrounds including:
  • professional people with an interest in the Spanish-speaking world and their languages (journalists, marketing consultants, entrepreneurs, etc)
  • secondary school teachers wishing to acquire an additional language
  • teachers of classics
  • primary school teachers
  • musicians

​For more information about the course and how to apply, please see the attached document.

Related Files

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

2 May 2018 (SRF)

The latest news from the Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) is now available to read online. Teachers of Russian will be interested to hear the SRF has received funding for their schools project and are looking to organise a teacher exchange. See the bulletin for more information. 

Read more...

“Beairteas” seeking to add richness to Gaelic education

2 May 2018 (Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Fèisean nan Gàidheal have launched a new initiative through their Fèisgoil project to help increase Gaelic language skills by creating and strengthening inter-generational links. 

With support from the Scottish Government, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is now seeking assistance from Gaelic speakers to establish Beairteas.

What is it?

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups. Their richness of language, specialist knowledge of Gaelic culture and many other subjects about which they could speak in Gaelic, would provide a valuable resource for pupils. This would complement the sterling work being done by teachers in Gaelic education.

Why?

Gaelic education is very successful and an essential component in growing a new generation of Gaelic speakers. Teachers work extremely hard to immerse children in the language and deliver a range of subjects through the medium of Gaelic.

Gaelic speakers involved in almost any walk of life have a tremendous amount to offer Gaelic education. The Curriculum for Excellence encourages work and engagement with people in communities.

Beairteas aims to complement schoolwork, offering opportunities for children to communicate in Gaelic with people other than their teachers. Engaging them with Gaelic speakers with specialist knowledge of the work they do or have done, as well as any interesting pastimes in which they may have been involved, will strengthen the language skills of the young people giving them a breadth of vocabulary they may not pick up through their daily schoolwork.

You may be a police officer, involved in the health service, community work or a trade. You may have specialist knowledge of Gaelic songs, history, traditional stories, war, sport or working in other countries. You may be involved in fishing, crofting, gardening, photography, weaving, cooking or almost anything in which you could engage young people through the medium of Gaelic.

Would you be willing to be involved?

If you would enjoy working with young people and are passionate about the revitalisation of Gaelic, Fèisean nan Gàidheal would like to hear from you. Work will be paid, but dependent on schools engaging with the Beairteas scheme. If you have any questions, please call Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager on 01463 225559 or e-mail any queries to beairteas@feisean.org.

More information is available on the organisation's website.

Read more...

Yell school joins Chinese culture programme

1 May 2018 (Shetland News)

The Chinese ambassador to the UK was in Yell on Tuesday (1 May) to launch Shetland's second Confucius Classroom Hub.

Mid Yell Junior High School is now part of the Confucius programme, which aims to teach Scottish youngsters about Chinese culture and Mandarin language, after Sandwick Junior High School joined in 2016.

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and his wife Hu Pinghua visited Yell alongside minister-counselor for education Wang Yongli and representatives of the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools.

They met councillors and staff from Shetland Islands Council, as well as Mid Yell pupils who entertained the guests with traditional Shetland music and songs - as well as Chinese songs and dance.

Read more...

Related Links

Good Evening Shetland (BBC Shetland, 1 May 2018) Listen to the news item about the new Confucius Hub from 00:48 onwards.

Confucius Classroom Hub launched at Mid Yell JHS (Shetland Islands Council, 1 May 2018)

#IsMiseGàidhlig spreads throughout the World

1 May 2018 (BBC)

A twitter hashtag #IsMiseGàidhlig took the Scottish internet by storm last week as members of the Gaelic community, fluent speakers and learners alike gave their positive experiences of Scotland’s oldest native language in response to negative stories in the press.

Thug an taga-hais #IsMiseGàidhlig os làimh Twitter na h-Alba an t-seachdain seo nuair a bha buill de choimhearsnachd na Gàidhlig, fileantaich agus luchd-ionnsachaidh le chèile, a’ sgaoileadh sgeulachdan togarrach mun a’ chànan mar fhreagairt air droch sgeulachdan anns na meadhanan.

Read more...

Be part of the first language course designed to fight dementia!

30 April 2018 (Lingo Flamingo)

Research shows that speakers of foreign languages can postpone the effects of dementia by up to 4.5 years later than monolinguists. Language learning acts as a great way of keeping your brain fit and active as well as building up cognitive reserve, making the brain more resilient. 

Lingo Flamingo utilises this research by providing tailored, fun and accessible classes in care homes and day centres across Scotland. We are a not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to use language learning as a way to empower older adults and to battle against dementia and brain ageing. 

We are looking for compassionate and enthusiastic language volunteers who can teach their language in care homes across Scotland. As a language tutor you will go into care homes and teach older adults in classes of 10 students. 

Classes take place 1 hour a week for 10 weeks. We will cover your expenses.

Classes take place Monday to Friday, usually in the early afternoon. You need to commit for at least 10 weeks, for 1 hour a week (same day and same time every week).

In conjunction with the Open University we offer tailored training and support about teaching older adults. Even though it is a language class, it is mainly about having fun! It is a great opportunity to increase your confidence as well as the confidence of the students. 

After you let us know that you are interested, you would need to fill out a registration form and meet us for an informal chat. Once you agree to volunteer, we would enter you onto the database and match you with a care home that is close to you. 

For more information, please contact papoula.romao@lingoflamingo.co.uk or visit our website for more information.

Read more...

Arabic to be taught to Syrian refugee children in Scotland

28 April 2018 (The Scotsman)

E-Sgoil is now being expanded to teach a range of subjects to pupils all over Scotland after initially being created in response to teacher recruitment problems in the Western Isles. 

And Angus MacLennan, head teacher of e-Sgoil, said there were now plans to recruit a teacher to offer Arabic lessons. 

The move is in response to an anticipated demand from pupils.

[..] E-Sgoil is also hoping to recruit online tutors to teach Mandarin in response to a demand from pupils in the Western Isles. 

Read more...

BSL event at the Scottish Parliament

27 April 2018 (Scottish Government)

To help us prepare our British Sign Language Plan, we will be holding an event at the Scottish Parliament building to gather the views of BSL users. Please come along!

The event will be on the afternoon of Friday 18 May and the morning of Saturday 19 May.

Tours of the Scottish Parliament debating chamber and garden lobby will be available in BSL on both days.

Visit the website for more information and to book.

Read more...

Tories attack language teaching ‘failures’

26 April 2018 (The Times)

The number of pupils taking Higher French and German has fallen as interest in Italian and Chinese rises.

The number of pupils studying any Higher modern languages fell 6.2 per cent between 2016 and last year. Pupils studying Higher French fell by 14 per cent to 3,918 and German was down 13 per cent from 1,020 to 89. The number of students taking Higher Spanish hit 2,809, up 8 per cent on 2016; Italian rose 21 per cent to 264; Chinese languages grew in popularity by 16 per cent to 129; and Urdu rose by 13 per cent to 104. Those learning Gaelic at Higher level fell by 18 per cent, to 69.

(Subscription required to read full article).

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National Digital Learning Week (14-18 May)

24 April 2018 (Education Scotland)

National Digital Learning Week is an annual Education Scotland event where teachers and learners from all schools in Scotland are encouraged to take part in digital learning and teaching activities.

There are loads of ways to get involved in #NDLW18; the sky is the limit! 

To help get things started Education Scotland are launching 2 main activities:  

  • An exclusive National Digital Story telling activity for 30 schools across Scotland with famous children’s author Lari Don. 
  • A digital story telling activity schools can enjoy in their local setting.

Why not use the local opportunity to create a digital story with your pupils in the language they are learning?

Find out more on the Education Scotland Glow blog.

Read more...

Glasgow set for third Gaelic school in Government language drive

24 April 2018 (The Scotsman)

John Swinney has announced that a third Gaelic school is to open in Glasgow as part of the Scottish Government’s drive to increase the number of speakers of the language. 

The new school will provide Gaelic medium education (GME) and is expected to open in the Cartvale area of the city.

Nearly 900 pupils are enrolled in Glasgow’s two existing GME schools at Glendale and Berkeley Street – both of which are now at capacity. The plans for the new school were announced during a Holyrood debate on the National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23.

Read more...

Summer workshops for children

23 April 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is pleased to announce it will be running special French workshops for children aged 5-10 in late June / early July.

This is an ideal opportunity for children of all levels to find out more about French language and culture through fun activities such as arts & crafts, songs, games, etc.

Visit the website for further information.

Read more...

SQA Higher Modern Languages course specification

23 April 2018 (SQA)

SQA has published the revised Course Specification for the Higher Modern Languages course (version April 2018). This is available from the Modern Languages Higher webpage. To access the document please go to the tab ‘2018-19 session’ and under the ‘Essential Information’ heading click on ‘Course Specification’.

Read more...

Spanish sessions at the Zoo!

18 April 2018 (RZSS)

Spanish Days are being replaced with Spanish sessions at Edinburgh Zoo.

Suitable for P4-P7 and S1-S2, schools can now book their own date and time to suit.

Costs as per education rates at Edinburgh Zoo - £7 per pupil, with 1 adult per 7 children free of charge (Primary) and 1 adult per 10 children free of charge (Secondary). See how to book on the website. 

Please use the booking form and choose 'Science in the Language Class - Spanish'.

Free resources are available to download to help your visit.

Spanish Packs are available at £50+VAT and £6 post and packing - details also on the website.

For further information or to purchase a pack contact Sandie Robb.

Read more...

Glasgow hotel to teach staff 10 new languages so they can welcome international guests

16 April 2018 (Glasgow Live)

A city centre hotel is extending a warm welcome to guests from all over the world - and in 10 different languages too.

Apex City of Glasgow’s concierge and reception staff are learning key phrases from 10 of the most commonly spoken languages among the hotel’s guests.

The move is part of a #WarmerWelcome project rolled out across Apex hotels, the Bath Street branch included.

Staff will be learning a how to speak in German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese and Danish.

Read more...

£8.7million Gaelic School opens in Portree

16 April 2018 (Press and Journal)

Pupils from Portree will today attend different primary schools for the first time as a new Gaelic School opens its doors.

The school becomes the fifth dedicated Gaelic specific school across Scotland – and the third in the Highland region – to offer pupils the opportunity to be educated in the form of Gaelic medium education.

The construction phase of the £8.7million project began in September 2016 and concluded this month as parents and friends of the school will gather at the end of this week to celebrate the schools opening with a family ceilidh.

Read more...

Related Links

New beginnings as Gaelic school opens in Portree (West Highland Free Press, 19 April 2018)

Row over £10m Gaelic school opening on Isle of Skye (The Scotsman, 20 April 2018)

Isle of Skye's Gaelic-only school 'will divide community' (The Herald, 21 April 2018)

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinar

12 April 2018 (SQA)

The SQA is running an evening webinar on 5 June to provide an overview of the new Modern Languages Higher course assessment arrangements which will be implemented from session 2018-19 onwards.

This will cover the performance–talking and there will be a particular focus on Higher assignment-writing. 

To book a place, please visit the SQA online booking system. 

Additional webinar sessions on the new Higher Modern Languages Course assessment arrangements will be running in September 2018.

Read more...

Worldwide Napier magazine

5 April 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Edinburgh Napier University is delighted to announce the publication of the very first issue of Worldwide Napier, a free magazine in which our students in languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish) showcase some of their work. It is available now on digital and soon a few print copies will circulate within Edinburgh.

Secondary school pupils are being invited to contribute articles for the forthcoming issues. View the magazine online and see the attached introductory letter for more information.

Read more...

Pupils' French connection on language learning day

5 April 2018 (Dumbarton Reporter)

Budding linguists at St Mary’s Primary School in Alexandria celebrated their language skills with a French learning day.

Pupils were put into mixed groups of P1-3 and P4-7 and spent the day taking part in various activities including games, STEM tasks and letting their creative sides loose with some art.

The children also welcomed their parents into school for an afternoon to involve them in the fun and to show off their newly-acquired language skills.

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Graeme High pupil wins multilingual poetry award

2 April 2018 (Falkirk Herald)

The multilingual talents of budding poets from Graeme High and Moray Primary were celebrated in the 2018 Mother Tongue Other Tongue awards. 

Graeme High pupil Danai Nikitea was crowned the winner of the Mother Tongue category during a prestigious ceremony at University of Strathclyde on March 17. 

While Kole Murray from Moray Primary and Harely Ewen and Simi Singh, both from Graeme High, were Highly Commended in the Other Tongue category. 

These students used their language skills to create and share poetry for the ceremony.

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Scottish Education Awards 2018 - Finalists announced!

29 March 2018 (Daily Record)

Following an editorial campaign running in the Daily Record, the finalists for this year's Scottish Education Awards have been announced.

Finalists will attend the prestigious awards ceremony at Glasgow's Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central on June 6th, where each of the fifteen winners will be announced.

Details of all the finalists can be found in the Daily Record news article online.

Congratulations and good luck to the schools shortlisted in the language-related categories!

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Related Links

Falkirk district schools aiming for top marks at Education Awards (Falkirk Herald, 16 April 2018)

Franco-German game night

29 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow invites you to join them for an evening of fun and friendly competition as they play modern board games from France and Germany!

This event takes place on 18 April 2018 and is primarily aimed at learners of French or German who would like to practice their speaking skills. However, anyone is welcome and choice of language will be adapted to the group.

The event is free to attend, but registration is essential. 

Visit the website for more information and to register.

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Campaign to make state school pupils Latin lovers

29 March 2018 (The Herald)

A drive has been launched to revive a classical education in state schools across Scotland.

Leading classics organisations have joined forces to promote the study of Latin and the history and culture of Ancient Rome and Greece.

Once a fundamental pillar of education, Latin has declined dramatically since the 1970s and now very few state schools offer it.

In 2013, just 218 candidates sat Latin at Higher compared to 243 the previous year. Only 48 pupils took Latin as an Advanced Higher.

In order to lead a revival the UK charity Classics for All, which provides grant funding to schools, opened a Scottish hub in September last year. 

Alex Imrie, an academic from Edinburgh University and the charity’s Scotland representative, said the hub was seeking to introduce a Latin module aimed at primary school pupils.  

It also wants to revise and update existing qualifications in Classical Studies for secondary school pupils and to work with university departments to reintroduce the subject as a specialism within postgraduate teaching qualifications. 

He said: “We’re approaching councils across Scotland to try and get them on board to try and reintroduce classics into the curriculum. 

“We are enjoying a lot of enthusiasm with the people we are speaking to, but it is early days and we need to get more momentum and spread the word even further.  

“There are academic benefits with improvements to English and other areas of the curriculum and it is long overdue that we break the myth that classics is only for the elite or only for those who go to independent schools.”

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MSP to give Holyrood address in Gaelic to raise language profile

29 March 2018 (The Scotsman)

An MSP is seeking to raise the profile of Gaelic by delivering an entire speech in the language at Holyrood. 

Kate Forbes will become just the second female MSP, and the first in the current Scottish Parliament chamber, to deliver a whole contribution in Gaelic during a plenary debate. 

Ms Forbes, who chairs Holyrood’s cross-party group on the language, will speak as MSPs consider a motion on Scotland’s support for the (Unesco) convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. 

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